WILMINGTON — Eight local residents are prepping their happy feet for dancing and raising money for the city’s historic landmark.
Some contestants have been finding interesting ways to raise money as CMH Regional Health System presents The Murphy Theatre’s Dancing with Stars set for Saturday, Sept. 22.
Businesswoman Kathy Collins found a rather unique way to do it in the form of “Toots the Traveling Toilet.”
The idea came from Collins’ friends, John and Carol Haley, and has gained a huge response, according to Collins.
“The concept: Toots may wind up in your yard looking for some money. For $15, we will take it out of your yard; $20, we will take it out and pass it on to the person of your choice; $25 are the first two, plus, you are guaranteed Toots won’t wind up back in your yard.
“We call this one toilet insurance,” said Collins.
Lauren Raizk, attorney and daughter of former Mayor David Raizk, said her training with Cole Haugh, whom she described as a great teacher, has been fun.
She and her team hosted a farewell-to-summer fundraiser at South Street Wine Cellar and saw “wonderful support for the event.” They also held a parents night out at Wilmington Childcare where they babysat for donations, and parents will get a night out.
“I am thankful for all of those who have helped me to fundraise and organize these events and those who have donated for their generous support to the Murphy,” she said.
WPD Officer Pat Black has been putting a lot of time into training, which he said is going well. He has been using social media to help raise money.
WHS football coach Scott Killen put on an ’80s/’90s dance party and raffled off four OSU Buckeyes tickets and a parking pass for the game against Nebraska. As for training, he said he has really enjoyed the experience.
Pediatrician Jeffrey Manser said the training has had a family atmosphere amongst the dancers and trainers.
“Just pure fun,” described Manser.
For fundraising, he has adopted a new moniker in a Facebook video to get noticed — “Dr. Rhythm.”
“The fundraiser is going great thanks to the generosity of my friends, family, and patients. Their kindness and support has been fantastic,” Manser said. “There are some perks being part of this fundraiser for the historic Murphy Theatre, and that is I lost 10 pounds already!”
Cosmetologist Ashley Leach has been selling t-shirts and held a fundraiser in August with live music and a car show, and she held another one at Skyline.
Katie Wright, who recently became the adjunct professor of international criminal justice at Wilmington College, has been fundraising using social media and doing person-to-person requests.
As for training, she said the practice has been a blast.
“I love working with Cole,” Wright said. “We laugh a lot and have similar ideas about the choreography. Learning a new routine is always challenging but I love the style and music we chose. We are both totally out of breath by the end of every practice run,” said Wright.
CMH Regional Health System presents The Murphy Theatre’s Dancing with Stars at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22 at the Murphy.
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574