Stars set to dance for Murphy

WILMINGTON — One of the most popular Murphy Theatre events — and the largest community fundraiser for the theater — is set to take place at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 17 as CMH Regional Health System presents Murphy Theatre’s Dancing with the Stars, directed by Timothy Larrick.

Ten prominent community members vying for the Trophy of Champions, awarded to the participant who raises the most money, have been rehearsing for months in the Murphy’s community room with professional dancers Micah Hammaker and Kelsey Moore of Always Ballroom dance studio in Dayton.

“It has been a really exciting time and process directing this fund-raiser and working with the dancers and stars in rehearsals,” Larrick said. “Always Ballroom has brought a different look to this year’s show, and I think everyone in the audience will really enjoy what we have to offer.”

The fact that dance rehearsals were possible in the second-floor space is thanks to the 2014 show that raised $21,000 to add heating and cooling upstairs at the Murphy Theatre.

This year’s funds raised will help pay for the Murphy Stage Project, which includes replacing the warped, sagging stage floor; replacing two failing spotlights; cleaning the red “act curtain”; acquiring a mechanized drop-down screen; and replacing the rigging system.

Last year’s event, won by veterinarian Jill Thompson, owner of Country View Pet Hospital, raised more than $26,000 that was slated to be used for tuck pointing the brickwork of the almost 100-year-old theater to protect from water intrusion.

This year’s stars/contestants, who will be competing for the Trophy of Champions, Judges’ Choice, and Audience Favorite, are:

Sigrid Solomon of Wilmington College

Randy Graf, group publisher of Wilmington News Journal/Civitas Media

Laura Gibson, Wilmington city prosecutor

Karli Harris, owner of Everyday Chic Boutique

John Hollon, internal medicine physician for CMH Regional Health System

Mindy McCarty-Stewart, principal at Wilmington High School

Randi Milburn, human resources manager at EMSAR and Wilmington City Council member

Chip Murdock, director of multicultural affairs at Wilmington College

Dow Tippett, pastor at Faith Family Church

Brett Rudduck, law director for the City of Wilmington, solicitor for Village of New Vienna, solicitor for Village of Clarksville, and private attorney at Rudduck Law Office.

The $15 event tickets can be purchased in person at 50 W. Main St., by phone at 937-382-3643, or online at

Dr. John Hollon rehearses above the Murphy Theatre with Kelsey Moore of Always Ballroom. John Hollon rehearses above the Murphy Theatre with Kelsey Moore of Always Ballroom. Courtesy photo
Annual benefit show Sept. 17 at Murphy

News Journal