ALBEMARLE — For the ninth year, residents came together in a Stanly County version of the hit television show “Dancing with the Stars” to raise money for Atrium’s Butterfly House, an Albemarle facility that serves child-abuse victims in the area. And this year, the participants broke a record with the funds raised, coming in at $130,470.
The event was held on Sept. 11 at the Stanly County Agri-Civic Center, where nine teams of two performed dances they’d practiced in the previous weeks. Each of the teams also spent that time raising money from their family, friends and others in the community to sponsor them.
“This is an awesome night, because these folks up on stage with me tonight — this group of dancers — collectively made history, with the highest amount of donations ever in the history of Dancing with the Stars,” master of ceremonies Wes Tucker said while announcing the winners.
The first set of winners announced were the “Judges’ Winners,” with top prizes going to those whom the judges determined to have given the best performances. In this category, first place went to Karmen Smith, a Norwood real estate agent with a long dance background, and Levi Crawford, a lieutenant in the Norwood Police Department. They were followed by Ashley Wall and Chauncey Bruton in second place and Abagail Broyhill and Chad Taylor in third place.
The second set of winners were those who raised the most money for the Butterfly House. The top team in this regard was Dr. Mindy Turner and Pastor Derrick Adcock, who raised $34,590. Turner is a pediatric dentist from Stanfield who is the director of the Stanly County Dental Clinic, and Adcock is the pastor of Norwood Church of the Nazarene. Second place went to Rebecca Huneycutt and Kevin Spry, who raised $21,741, and third place went to Sara Huneycutt and Chad Smith, who raised $21,252.
“That was amazing,” Amy Yow, director of the Butterfly House, told SCJ on Sept. 13 on the record fundraising numbers. “I’m just humbled by the outpouring of support from the community. Our outstanding dancers worked so hard to have a successful event and to have friends and family to support them to make our Ninth Annual Dancing with the Stars amazing. So, I’m literally just in awe for the love and support that they created.”
The Butterfly House is an accredited child-advocacy center that provides investigative and intervention services regarding child abuse (including medical exams and forensic interviews in collaboration with law enforcement), therapy, and other direct care and advocacy for victims.
“It will directly benefit the children of abuse that we serve here at the Butterfly House,” Yow said of the money raised. “It will provide resources for the services that we provide.”
Those who suspect child abuse are encouraged to call the National Child Abuse Hotline 24/7 at 1-800-422-4453, or if the danger is immediate, to call 911.