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Boys and Girls Club’s “Dance Like the Stars” event to be held virtually

The Boys and Girls Club of North Mississippi’s signature event is another victim of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s “Dance Like the Stars” event will take place virtually on Aug. 22, the organization announced on Monday. This marks the first time the annual dance competition and fundraiser has not been held in person at the Bancorp South Arena in Tupelo.

Organizers of the event began working on a plan in recent weeks to transition to a virtual format for viewers to still enjoy. The event will stream on the Boys and Girls Club of North Mississippi’s Facebook page.

The format of the competition will remain the same with celebrity dancers being judged by a pane of judges on their performances, interviewed by guest emcees and will continue raising money for the non-profit organization.

This year’s celebrity dances features Oxford’s Eddie Rester, who is the pastor at Oxford University United Methodist Church. Other dancers include Lisa Settlemires of Ripley, Kimberley Langley of New Albany and Lindsey Chaney, Kerri McMillin, Dr. Gabe Rulewicz and Jucuana Sykes all of Tupelo.

“We are thrilled that every person who agreed to dance prior to the COVID-19 pandemic remained committed afterwards,” said Evie Storey, Director of Marketing & Special Events for the Boys and Girls Club of North Mississippi. “This is humbling, and is confirmation that communities and donors support the services provided to youth in the area. The funds raised at this time are critical to operating the modified summer programs at four of the clubs. We are so excited to have Club members back in the
Clubs and be able to provide essential programming, food and fun to them by our caring staff, all while complying with CDC and city regulations.”

This is the 15th year for the event, which has raised over $2 million for youth in Chickasaw, Lafayette, Lee, Tippah and Union Counties. Currently, the dancers have raised over $170,000 of their $210,000 goal. Donors can continue to give leading up to, and during, the show next month.

With the help of a recent grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission, members of the Boys & Girls Club will offer an opening dance performance. Plans are also in place for other highlights during the virtual event.

The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 22. To make a donation in one of the celebrity dancer’s honor, visit bgcnms.org/dance-like-the-stars.