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Holly recruits UNG students for dance fundraiser

Dancing with the NG stars
Jonathan Whitmire (left), a music major at UNG, will be one of the students acting as a coach during "Dancing with the North Georgia Stars."

On April 22 at the Holly Theater, local nonprofit Enotah CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) will host "Dancing with North Georgia Stars." Based on the hit TV show, organizers called on the expertise of University of North Georgia (UNG) dancers and local community leaders to act as "pros."

These volunteers, along with their "stars," will create a competitive dance routine to raise money for the organization.

Caleb Yarboro, a sophomore cadet and junior business management major at UNG, is no stranger to the dance floor. As founder of the North Georgia Ballroom Dance Club, Yarboro has worked hard to develop skills in waltz, foxtrot, cha-cha, salsa, tango, rumba, and East coast swing.

"For this event, my partner and I have been practicing twice a week to learn the routine we are performing, but even more than that, we place special emphasis on technique," Yarboro said.

Other student-pros include Josh Dyar, a criminal justice major and an infantryman in the Georgia Army National Guard. Additionally, Jonathan Whitmire, who is studying music, and Ngoc Pham, a biology/pre-pharmacy major, act as coaches for the event.

"We're thrilled with the dancers and their level of commitment, and really appreciate them helping us fundraise," said Linda D'Angelo, executive director of Enotah CASA. "They're truly dedicated."

In addition to honing his dance skills, Yarboro got involved so that he could support the organization's mission.

"This is a great program that advocates for the best interests of children in foster care. They strive to get them a safe, stable and permanent home as quickly as possible." Yarboro said. "The children benefitting from this service today are the same ones who will grow up to be the adults we lead one day. All of the things they learn in life, or fail to learn, will have an impact on us one day, either directly or indirectly."

Those wishing to support "Dancing with North Georgia Stars" can help by attending the event, voting for a favorite team by donating, helping to spread the word, or volunteering for Enotah CASA.

"We actually have two awards being given out this year," said Rhonda Case, volunteer coordinator for Enotah CASA. "We'll be giving out the 'People's Choice' award, which will be based on the online voting, and then the traditional 'Judge's Award,' which is based on technique."

All funds raised from "Dancing with the North Georgia Stars" will go towards helping CASAs receive additional training to better serve the children of local foster care.

The inaugural event's presenting sponsor is The Cottrell Foundation, Inc. at the North Georgia Community Foundation. More information about Enotah CASA and "Dancing with the North Georgia Stars" can be found on the event's website.

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