Delivering a dancing promise

After watching one of her favorite TV shows one night, Mary Kendall couldn't resist the idea of taking it local.
Kelle Lynn
Jun 25, 2013

She also wanted to make a huge impact with her idea by helping others.

The West Michigan version of "Dancing with the Stars" was Kendall's brainchild, along with the Muskegon Women's Division Chamber of Commerce. Each February, "Dancing with the Local Stars" takes place at the Harbor Holiday Inn in Muskegon and all of the proceeds are donated to more than 30 Lakeshore-area food pantries.

The show has raised more than $310,000 since its inception in 2009.

"I would say the biggest highlight is the amount of money we raise to fill so many area food banks," said Lynn New, president of the Muskegon Women's Division Chamber of Commerce for 2012-13 and owner of The Store in Grand Haven. "Our community has been hit hard by the economy, but it's an extraordinary feeling that we can still put on an over-the-top event and have so much fun doing it. We are all so proud."

The food pantry at Love INC Tri-Cities is one of the recipients of the show's donations.

"The 'Dancing with the Local Stars' proceeds are very appreciated, since the need in the community is great and the donation helps people who are struggling," Love INC President Eric Morgan said.

Kendall said about 50 of the women's division members handled the details for the 2013 show, ranging from sponsorships to advertising and decorations.

"It takes a village to pull off something as great as this event," she said.

Four members of the women's division helped distribute free food from a Feeding America truck at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Grand Haven on May 31.

 

Post a Comment

Log in to your account to post comments here and on other stories, galleries and polls. Share your thoughts and reply to comments posted by others. Don't have an account on GrandHavenTribune.com? Create a new account today to get started.