By JB Clark
TUPELO – Northeast Mississippi’s Boys & Girls Club is not just bringing in local celebrities to dance for a cause this year – a national name will join the ranks.
Zell Long, chief professional officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of North Mississippi, announced Wednesday the CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Jim Clark, will compete in this year’s Dance Like the Stars fundraiser.
Clark joins a line of well-known Tupelo, New Albany, Ripley and Oxford faces that have already raised $41,000 to benefit the clubs in those communities.
The lineup was announced at a kickoff event Wednesday at Park Heights where representatives from Toyota added a contribution of $20,000 to the initial fundraising drive. The annual dance competition will be Aug. 16.
During the kickoff, Evie Boyd, director of marketing for the Boys & Girls Clubs of North Mississippi, said four of the dancers are far ahead in their fundraising efforts: Jenea Britton, Amanda Angle, Judd Wilson and Torrie Robertson.
Other dancers announced were Kara James, Lori Anger, Stephanie West, Alyssa Martin, Jason Harms, Taylor Kitchens and Felicia Pollard.
Harms, pastor of First United Methodist Ripley, said he isn’t a dancer but has taken a few lessons in preparation for the contest and is really enjoying himself.
He said he has many friends involved in the Boys & Girls Club and has always wanted to participate so when he was asked to dance he jumped at the opportunity.
The fundraiser and dancing competition serve as the club’s largest revenue generator, bringing in $246,000 last year for the program that serves 2,000 youth a year, and 600 daily, in the region.
Donations can be made on behalf of the contestants at www.bgcnms.org. Boyd said they will continue announce event details and ticket sales leading up to the event.