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Two more competitors to vie for dancing crown

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Twelve Putnam County Celebrities will take to the dance floor Saturday as part of the inaugural Dancing With the Putnam County Stars, a fundraiser for the Putnam County Youth Development Commission. The event will closely resemble "Dancing With the Stars," the popular ABC television show.

The local stars have been working for weeks with professional dance partners. Here is a closer look at two of the competitors.

(Photo)
Gail Smith

Smith is a local restaurateur and chef. She is the mother of two grown sons, Mike Martellaro, 33, and Brian Carrington, 27. She has a grandson, Gage.

In her spare time, Smith enjoys boating. She is also an avid Chicago Cubs fan.

"Seriously, I watch, listen or go to every game," she said.

Smith owns Almost Home and the Swizzle Stick bar. These ownerships, she said, allow her to contribute to many community activities and events.

Her dancing experience has been limited to "hot dates or weddings," she said.

She agreed to participate in Dancing With the Stars "Because I feel it's important for the community, it gets me out of the kitchen and because Jana Brothers made me do it," she said.

When the event is over, Smith hopes "To become a shining star in something ... not that I will be, but I hope to have a great time for a good cause."

(Photo)
Nick Mourouzis

Mourouzis is retired from DePauw University, where he was the head football coach and a professor of kinesiology for 23 years. He and his wife Marilyn have two children.

Mourouzis' hobbies include golfing and coaching kickers and punters in high school and college football. He runs his own camp, Nick Mourouzis Kicking School, in the summer.

Mourouzis has had dance instruction in the past.

"I took cha-cha lessons on our honeymoon 49 1/2 years ago," he said. "I still like to cha-cha dance."

What does Mourouzis hope to gain from being part of Dancing With the Stars?

"Fame!" he said. "And exercise."

Dancing With the Putnam County Stars will take place at Dixie Chopper Business Center from 6 to 9 p.m. The evening will begin with a social hour, buffet dinner, silent auction, 50-50 raffle and cash bar. The dancing competition will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Other competitors for the title will be Stacey Baugh of Cloverdale Community Schools; Jana Brothers of North Putnam Community Schools; Greencastle Mayor Sue Murray; Tammy Amor, executive director of the Greater Greencastle Chamber of Commerce; Rick Alexander of Wal-Mart Distribution; Elaine Peck, executive director of the Putnam County Community Foundation; local attorney and public defender James Ensley; South Putnam Schools counselor Mark Wildman; and Mike VanRennselaer of Greencastle Community Schools.

Each contestant has been paired with a local dance professional to perform a simple routine that will last a maximum of two minutes. The dancer who gets the most points -- a combination of money raised before and during the event and the judges' scores -- will be the Dancing with the Putnam County Stars champion.

The event will be judged by actual Putnam County court judges Diana LaViolette, Matt Headley and Denny Bridges. Emcees will be Jinsie Bingham and Eric Bernsee. Jim Hardwick will act as the DJ.



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