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'Stars' cfance to raise money for charities AcosiaRed Elk scores perfectm ark

Local 'stars'included, from left, Kathy Kinkead, Dave Nelson, Randy Thomas, Robb Corbett, Acosia Red Elk and Megan Corey Furstenberg.

PENDLETON — Eight-time world j i n gle dress champion, business owner and yoga instructor, Acosia Red Elk, took to a different kind of stage during the second annual "Dancing with Your Pendleton Stars" charity and ballroom competition. Red Elk along w ith f iv e other 2016 Pendleton " stars" - M e g a n Corey Furstenberg,

PhOtOS and StOry

Randy T h o mas,

K athy K i n k e a d , Robb Corbett and D avid N e l s o n raised money for a charity or n o n profit organization of their choice. Red Elk chose Systems of Care at Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center. To prepare for the event, which took place at the Vert Auditorium, the stars received one-on-one training for five days - one hour a day with professional dancers from the Utah Ballroom Dance Company. Dance styles included the Quickstep, Nightclub Two-

by Miranda Rector of the CUJ

Step, Charleston, Cha-Cha, Tango, and Swing which was performed by Red Elk. During the event, each local star performed their 60-second routine with enthusiasm. The Vert as packed for an audience that expressed its pleasure with laughter and applause. After the individual sets, three judges critiqued and scored the couples based on performance. When judges asked Nelson if his previous job had any correlation with dance, he joked by saying that as a former state senator one gets used to dancing around the issues and spinning the truth. Nelson wasn't the only one who had jokes that night. Master of ceremonies Jesse Maher bantered with all dancers and after Corbett's tango, Maher teased saying, "Let's see if the judges liked the bullfighting or if they thought you were full of bull." The highest scorer of the night was Red Elk who received a perfect 30 and coming in second was Furstenberg, former Pendleton Roundup Queen, with a score of 29.

"It was hard to dance in heels," said Red Elk, "I thought I had forgotten my entire routine when I first got out there." During the intermission, the audience was allowed to vote for their favorite dancer by donating money or putting their ticket into the dancer's jar. The dancer with the most fundraising and votes would take home the trophy. Each charity kept the money that was donated to them and all tickets and event sales went to CAPECO Food Bank. After several new performances by The Utah Dance Company, Furstenberg raised the most money and was deemed winner of the competition. Her charity of choice was Pioneer Relief Nursery whose mission is "to prevent child abuse and neglect by early intervention that focuses on building successful and resilient children, strengthening parents and preserving families," according to their webpage. Next year's event will also be held in the Vert Auditorium and the date is scheduled for April 8, according to Fred Bradbury, Co-Chair.

Ballots are due May 77. A drive-up ballot boxis located at the front of the Nixyaawii Governance Center. How much easier can get?

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Confederated Umatilla Journal

May 2016

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