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‘Dancing With the Stars’ raises nearly $2,500

Submitted photos Perham City Manager Kelcey Klemm and his dance partner, Samantha Byer, strike a pose at the “Dancing With the Stars” Relay for Life fundraiser on Saturday.

The local Relay for Life’s “Dancing With the Stars” fundraiser was well attended on Saturday, and raised about $2,500 for the cause.

In an email to the Focus, the event’s leading organizer, Lisa Peterson, said approximately 250 people attended the show, held at the Perham High School Auditorium, and no one went home disappointed.

“Our stars and their partners were awesome,” stated Peterson. “Everyone who attended thoroughly enjoyed the show. It was a really fun night. We received numerous comments about how much fun it was.”

This localized spin on the popular TV show featured six local ‘celebrities’ paired with experienced dance partners, who danced a Fox Trot together and then competed against each other with their own versions of the Rhumba.

The judges – Merrie Sue Holtan, Sue Von Ruden and Phil Hastings, offered comments to the dancers and awarded a Judge’s Choice Award. Miss Perham Leah Wuebben and her dance partner, Chris Knutson, won that award.Miss Perham Leah Wuebben and her dance partner, Chris Knutson, were the winners of the Judges’ Choice Award.

The audience also had a chance to vote for their favorite dance couple, by donating dollars. Dent Mayor Perry Coleman and his dance partner, Dani Nelson, took home that honor.

Dent Mayor Perry Coleman and his dance partner, Dani Nelson, were the audience favorite, winning the People’s Choice Award.

Other dancers included Perham Mayor Tim Meehl and his partner, daughter Kelli Meehl; Richville Mayor Terry Lee and his dance partner Karlie Hoekstra; Perham City Manager Kelcey Klemm and Samantha Byer; and Perham High School Spanish teacher Bob Tangen and Mollee Byer.

In the days leading up to the show, the couples received dance lessons from Paul Mathieu, owner and instructor of Promenade Ballroom in Perham.

Additional performances were given by Kaitlin Wake of Northern Lights Dance Academy in Frazee, and Emily Peterson and Patrick Murphy, who sang a duet. Murphy also sang a solo and played piano.

All proceeds went to the American Cancer Society Relay for Life of East Otter Tail County.

The relay itself will take place July 12 at the Perham High School Track.

Marie Johnson
Marie Johnson (formerly Nitke) came to the Perham Focus after several years as the Education and Arts & Entertainment Editor at the Herald-Review of Grand Rapids, Minn. She lives in rural Ottertail with her husband, Dan, and their spunky yellow lab, Louisa.
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