The 5th Annual Dancing with the Stars of Broward Benefit on May 4


Rehearsing their dance lifts, spins and attitude, five Broward business and community leaders are preparing to face-off as The Pantry of Broward and Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino will present the 5th annual Dancing with the Stars of Broward on Saturday, May 4 at 6 p.m. The enthralling event taking place in the Seminole Hard Rock Ballroom will benefit The Pantry of Broward whose mission is to help provide food and other support services to seniors on low, fixed incomes and grandparents raising their grandchildren.

“As The Pantry’s major annual fundraiser, Dancing with the Stars of Broward is vital to our mission of helping seniors in need in Broward County,” said Penny Loughan, executive director of The Pantry of Broward. “This year, through social media, all the contestants’ friends can support their team and be in on the fun.”

Modeled after the popular national TV show, Dancing with the Stars of Broward pairs local celebrities with a professional dance instructor. After weeks of tough training, they’ll prepare to take the stage to perform two dance routines for an audience of approximately 400 guests.

This year’s celebrity competitor pairings are Chef Lee Blakley of Wines for Humanity with Vance Vlasek; Alyssa Lovitt of Timpano Italian Chophouse with Bryant Williams; John Mabry of AutoNation with Rachael Denofsky; Luke Moorman of Carroll’s Jewelers with Chelsea Roth and Kathy O’Brien of Fort Lauderdale Country Club with Pablo Malco.

Judges will be Pembroke Pines Mayor Frank Ortis and 2012 Dancing with the Stars of Broward celebrity dancers Laurina Anderson, Marc Cannon, Johnny Williams and Katrina Wright, who will offer commentary on the performances. This year’s event co-chairs are Gale Butler of AutoNation and Jen Klaassens of The Wasie Foundation who was a 2011 Dancing with the Stars of Broward contestant and a judge in 2012.

For the event’s fifth anniversary, the celebrity competitors have already upped the ante; the pair that wins the champion’s trophy must dazzle the judges and audience — and have a strong showing in raising funds for the event. Audience members and dance team supporters may “purchase” votes for their favorites online before and during the event for $1.

“Guests know Dancing with the Stars of Broward delivers a high-energy evening for a great cause,” said Klaassens. “To celebrate the event’s fifth anniversary, our team is taking costumes, production effects and fun to the next level.”

In addition to presenting sponsor Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, major sponsors include Publix, AutoNation and The Wasie Foundation. Additional support is provided by Pernod Ricard USA, Wines For Humanity, BB&T, Bimini Boat Yard, BNETGraphics, Carroll’s Jewelers, FastPrintz Oakland Park, Fort Lauderdale Country Club, Miller Construction Company, Postal Centers International, Quinn Pro Quo, Smith & Knibbs Public Relations, SBBS, Spector Law Offices and Timpano Italian Chophouse.

Tickets are $200 per person and guests are encouraged to reserve seats early. Sponsorships also are available. More information is available by calling Terrence Smalley at 954-358-1481, ext. 113, emailing or visiting

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