Branson, Missouri – One of the most anticipated Fundraisers of the season was held last Wednesday at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater, home to Legends in Concert. “Dancing with the Stars of Branson” awarded their 2nd annual Mirror Ball trophy to Bill Tirone of The Hilton Convention Center and his professional partner Jody Kosterlitz from the Shoji Tabuchi Show. The award was presented by Branson Mayor Raeanne Presely along with, Producer and host of the show, Bob Nichols. The real winners of the night were the children of our community who will benefit from the more than $13,400 which is projected to have been raised from the night of fun and entertainment.
For two years in a row, Associated Artists, a Bob Nichols Company, has produced this popular fundraiser as a community service. After selling out a smaller theatre last year, the dancing fundie was moved to Dick Clark’s Theatre, for 2011, in order to accommodate the growing popularity of this concept. More than 1000 excited people watched as Stars and Pros from different segments of the Branson community came together to step out of their comfort zones for a good cause.
Dancing for this year’s fund raising effort were Branson Entertainers Kevin Knudsen, from SIX; Jim Barber, Hamner Barber Theatre; Buck Heard, Rock-U-Mentally.com and Legends in Concert; J Fotsch from Power 96.5 in Springfield; Billie Naioti, a popular local designer; Bill Tirone from the Hilton; Police Officer Kip Teitsort from Branson High School and BHS Senior, Lavetta VanBuren. Our Celebrity Judges were Steve Willoughby from Hometown Radio, Camille Davis, local entertainer, and Michelle Willadsen, owner of Midwest Dance Revolution. They presented the newly added “Judges Cup” award. Nichols said the idea was to give recognition to the couple that most, “… tickled the judges fancy.” He also said, “We are honored to have Branson Mayor Raeanne Presley lending her support to our fundraiser.” The Mayor presented the 2011 Mirror Ball Trophy to Bill and Jody while laying praise on Producer, Nichols, for his contribution in assembling such a wonderful evening of fun and entertainment.
An exclusive VIP Mixer with the Stars and Pros was help in the upstairs area of Dick Clark’s Theater. It began at 5:30 PM and included a “Red Carpet” style cadre of photographers and television cameras. The VIPs were treated to incredible catering by The Catering Divas while they participated in a “Meet and Greet” with the costumed cast of the show. Thy later enjoyed the show from their table seating vantage point in the VIP lounge.
Benefitting from this year’s fundraising efforts were the Branson Arts Council and BHS Project Graduation. Two very important organizations that provide services for the children of our local community, in and around Branson and the Tri-Lakes area. Our local Arts Council is responsible for bringing cultural and artistic opportunities to the children of our community through programs that occur all year. The Educational Youth Symphony, Hands on Clay, Cultural Kaleidescope, Summer Theatre Workshop, Artistic Scholarships and more. BHS Project Grad keeps our high school seniors safe on graduation night.
The Bob Nichols Company produces several events in the Branson area as well as out of state. Upcoming events include the Branson Bridal Show at the Hilton Convention Center on March 12 and the 3rd Annual Missouri Food & Wine Festival at the Chateau on the Lake Resort on April 29 and 30. The 3rd Annual Dancing with the Stars of Branson is already being planned. For more information on these events, go to www.DancingWithTheStarsOfBranson.com.