A half dozen local residents will take the stage during Dancing with the Hermiston Stars to compete and raise money for six charity causes. Presented by the Hermiston Education Foundation, each of the “stars” will pair up with a professional from the Utah Ballroom Dance Company.
“They work with the dancers to polish their moves,” HEF board member George Clough said.
In its 10th year, the event is Friday, Nov. 17, 7 p.m. in the Hermiston High School auditorium, 600 S. First St. The doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students.
Dancers will vie for the coveted mirror ball trophy while raising money for a designated charity. Participants are cutting a rug for these causes:
Lori Browning (Special Olympics), Mario Cobian (American Legion), Justine Cook (Made to Thrive), Christy Meyers (Kiwanis Scholarships), Juan Rodriguez (Christmas Express) and Josh Theros (Hermiston Education Foundation). The winner will be determined by the amount of money donated on behalf of their selected charity. In addition, those in attendance can cast a vote for their favorite dancer.
“Folks like to see their friends up on the stage, especially if it’s helping support a service club or charity,” Clough said about the event’s popularity. “Each Hermiston dancer is raising money for ‘their’ charity or cause.”
The event was initially coordinated by the Desert Arts Council. After bowing out in 2019, the education foundation waltzed in to take over organizing the fundraiser.
Superintendent Tricia Mooney said HEF’s annual Follow Your Art dinner and auction is the nonprofit organization’s major fundraiser. However, she said there have been benefits to taking the reins in coordinating the popular event.
“We took on Dancing with the Stars when the Desert Arts Council dissolved as a way to keep the fun event in the community,” Mooney said. “This event is a way for HEF to help support other organizations in our community.”
The Hermiston Education Foundation is a nonprofit organization that is directed by a board of trustees. It includes community volunteers, a member of the school district’s board of education, the district’s superintendent and school district faculty/staff. The foundation seeks to enhance opportunities for the students and educators of the Hermiston School District.
Money raised by the foundation will go toward the organization’s scholarship program. In 2023, eight HHS seniors each received $2,500 to assist in furthering their education.
Tickets are available in advance at the district office, 305 S.W. 11th St. They also will be sold at the door. For questions, call 541-667-6000.