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Monday, Apr. 27, 2015

'Dancing with the Stars' raises more than $26,000

Monday, April 12, 2010

Click here for more photos of the event

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This year's Dancing with the Putnam County Stars champions were North Putnam High School principal Alan Zerkel and his partner Katie Wallace, who performed a classic foxtrot. Click here for more photos of the event [Order this photo]
GREENCASTLE -- The second Dancing with the Putnam County Stars event is in the records books.

From a slate of 12 performances that included sultry tango, high-energy hip-hop and entertaining disco routines, North Putnam High School principal Alan Zerkel and his professional partner Katie Wallace emerged the victors with their classic foxtrot set to an instrumental version of "New York, New York."

The event, which benefited the Putnam County Youth Development Commission, took place Friday at the Dixie Chopper Business Center. Dance Workshop was also a sponsor.

PCYDC executive director Linda Merkel said at last count Friday, about $26,000 had been raised, but that the money from the silent auction items had not been counted yet.

"Our dancers raised $15,000 of that money," Merkel said. "We raised much more than we anticipated we would, and we are absolutely delighted."

Tickets to the event sold out quickly. Those who were unable to get tickets were able to see the performances Thursday at a dress rehearsal. Cost for admission was a canned food item to be donated to a local food bank.

"We had a capacity crowd, and collected enough food to donate to four food banks," Merkel said.

Zerkel and Wallace were the last couple to take the floor Friday.

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Runners-up for this year's Dancing with the Putnam County Stars event were Deb Smith, lab manager and technical consultant for DePauw University Student Health and Wellness Center, and her professional partner Brad Sandy. The pair performed a cha-cha. Click here for more photos of the event
"I sense it was nice to watch," Zerkel said. "It was a nice way to close the show."

After all the competitors and their professional partners strutted their stuff on the dance floor, scores were given by the judges -- Putnam County Senior Judge Diana LaViolette, Putnam County Circuit Court Judge Matt Headley and Putnam County Superior Court Judge Denny Bridges.

Zerkel said he wasn't quite sure how the audience or the judges would react to the routine.

"I watched all these others that went before me and we really exciting and fun to watch," he said. "When we were drawing to see what order we'd dance in, I about had a heart attack when I drew No. 12."

Zerkel have "1,000 percent of the credit" for his and Wallace's win to Wallace, who has been a performer at Santorini's Greek Kitchen in Indianapolis for the last nine years and also teaches and choreographs Middle Eastern dance at Dance Workshop.

"You always hope you have the chance to be in contention for things when you enter them, but I really wanted to do this for Katie," he said. "She was so patient ... in working with me, she really had an impossible task."

Zerkel and Wallace ended up doing a foxtrot because Zerkel "wanted something slow."

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Greencastle Police Department Chief Tom Sutherlin and his professional partner Tara Gardner, owner and operator of Greencastle's Dance Workshop, perform a swing routine during Friday's Dancing with the Putnam County Stars event. Click here for more photos of the event
"Everyone was talking hip-hop and all this stuff," he said. "I thought the foxtrot sounded like something I could handle."

And it was, for the most part.

"I had no idea about the footwork," Zerkel said with a chuckle. "I found out about that later."

Runners-up for the title were Deb Smith, lab manager and technical consultant for DePauw University Student Health and Wellness Center, and her professional partner Brad Sandy, who has been dancing since the age of 7 and has been involved with the Putnam County Playhouse since 1970.

Smith and Sandy performed a striking cha-cha.

Zerkel and Wallace and Smith and Sandy received perfect scores from the judges for their routines, and Zerkel and Smith's individual scores from the judges were identical. The winners were determined by the applause of the crowd after the two couples performed a dance-off.

Zerkel said he would encourage anyone who was asked to take part in the event.

"The practices were great; learning to dance was great," he said. "But I did do a lot of stressing ... anyone who was involved can tell you that. Dancing in front of people is way out of my comfort zone."

But Zerkel is glad he did it.

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Local insurance agent Brad Tucker and his professional partner Colleen Muir performed an Argentine tango with a "James Bond" theme at Friday night's Dancing with the Putnam County Stars. Click here for more photos of the event
"It's a wonderful event," he said. "I think everyone had a great time."

Rounding out the slate of dancers were Greencastle Police Department Chief Tom Sutherlin and his partner Tara Gardner, owner and operator of Greencastle's Dance Workshop, who performed a swing routine; Putnam County Juvenile Probation Department chief juvenile probation officer Renee Marsteller and her partner, Greencastle School of Ballroom Dance student Logan Kuhne, who kicked off the show with a tango; Cloverdale High School Treasurer Julina Price, who was paired with retired competitive dancer Tim Tillotson and performed a nightclub two-step; Putnam County Comprehensive Services Executive Director Chuck Schroeder and his partner, North Putnam Middle School teacher and former DePauw cheerleader Jessyca South, who performed a jazz and rock n' roll routine; David Wells, service representative for Carpenters Union Local No. 859, who performed a hip-hop routine with North Putnam High School Spanish teacher and former cheerleader and gymnast Ashley Moeller; Teena Bryant, FB Distro human resources director, who was paried with DePauw Dance and Step Crew member David Terry and performed a salsa routine; Tzouanakis Intermediate School principal Dan TeGrotenhuis, who performed a Broadway swing number with partner Carrie Hamilton, a member of the Greencastle High School Choreography Team; Putnam County Clerk of Courts Marty Watts, who danced a West Coast swing with Tillotson; and local insurance agent Brad Tucker, who performed an Argentine tango with Dance Workshop teacher and DePauw sophomore Colleen Muir; and Central Elementary School principal Debbie Steffy, who performed a disco routine with Putnam County Playhouse actor, director and choreographer Jack Randall Earles.

Emcees for the evening were Beau Battin and Jana Brother, who both competed in the 2009 Dancing with the Putnam County Stars event. Music was provided by Fig's Folly's and Sounds Unlimited.

Platinum sponsors for the event were Denny and Tracy Bridges, S & W Masonry LLP (Max Watts, owner) and the friends and family of David Wells. Gold sponsors were Friends of the PCYDC, Mark Smith DDS, Kate Art Studio, Millgrove Campground, the family of Tom Sutherlin and State Farm Insurance (Therese Cunningham, owner). Silver sponsors were Matt and Karen Headley and FB Distro; bronze sponsors were Amber Bowers Photography, Dennis Knuth DDS (Hometown Dental), First National Bank and McDonald's (Jedele Enterprises).

Click here for more photos of the event



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