Third Annual Dancing with the Stars

Tony Marchese and Kelly McClean
Story and photos by Pat Krause
Story and photos by Pat Krause

The Third Annual Dancing with the Stars was held at the Renaissance Hotel in Palm Springs on November 22nd. This event benefits the 100 Women Program and Desert AIDS Project. This little dance party is fashioned \fter the famous TV show “Dancing with the Stars” with Judges and co-hosts. There were eight teams dancing. Each team consisted of one local dignitary and one professional dancer.

They had about 8 weeks to prepare for two dances for the judges. There were costumes that depicted the dance and music. The Judges, Toni Basil, Legacy Perez and Aiden Turner gave critiques on each dance. Co-hosts Gino Lamont and Randy Roberts took turns as Emcee and Green Room interviewer.

Local dancers included. Mayor Jan Harnik with professional Isa Lapaj, Assemblyman Manny Perez whose partner was Courtney Prosser, Tony Marchese owner of TRIO and the Purple Room with Kelly McClean, Dr. Frederick Eko from Desert Regional Medical Center and partnered with Britta Sperber, attorney Valerie Powers Smith and partner Tyrone Baker, Katharine Johnson president of the PS Firemans assn. with partner Anthony Jackson, Ernie Santora President of 1st Community Ins. Services and Kristin Staszek, and President and CEO of Desert Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce, Heather Coladonato, with her partner Dennis Gimenez.

Winners included 4th place Mayor Jan Harnik, with 3rd place going to Heather Coladonato and 2nd Place went to Tony Marchese. And The Winner was Assemblyman Manny Perez and his partner Courtney Prosser. Manny did a hip hop dance and wowed everyone with his prowess by doing a spin on the floor like rap artists do during their performances.

Each contestant received flowers after the first dance and fans brought flowers for them after their last dance. Placards with the dancers face was waved after each dance for their favorite. Ballots by guests was a factor in the win.

100 Women thru DAP offer assistance to women and their families affected with HIV/AIDS with Medical care that includes free mammograms and Pap Smears. DAP provides food, housing, support and medical care for their clients. DAP also does free HIV/AIDS confidential testing.