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.
Murray is the mayor of the city of Greencastle. She and her husband Dave are the parents of three grown children.
She enjoys spending time with family and friends. She is a member of various social service boards and committees, as well as working for her church and participating in the many community activities that are a part of her job.
Murray said she did take dance lessons when she was younger.
She agreed to do Dancing With the Stars to serve as an example to others.
"I was sitting at a Youth Development Commission meeting the afternoon the idea was brought up for discussion," she said. "If as a board member I'm not willing to do what I can to support the effort, it's hard to ask others."
Besides helping the YDC, Murray hopes to gain "A good deal of fun and great exercise" from the event.
Mike Van Rensselaer
Van Rensselaer, a teacher at Greencastle Middle School, is married to Pam. He is the father of three and the grandfather of seven.
In his spare time, Van Rensselaer plays the guitar and is a member of a band. He is an announcer for Greencastle High School football and basketball games, and performs in the Parkfest Summer Concert Series.
His dance experience, he said, is limited to "twirling my granddaughters to sleep."
When Dancing With the Stars is over, Van Rensselaer hopes to have traded "my two left feet for a right."
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; local restaurant owner Gail Smith; 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; former DePauw football coach Nick Mourouzis and Beau Battin of ResCare.
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. Deejays will be Fig's Folly's and Sounds Unlimited.