Johnson Bixby takes home Mirror Ball Trophy; Cherry wins Best Dance Performance
RIDGEFIELD, Wash. – The 2022 season of Dancing with the Local Stars, presented by Banner Bank was a record-setting smash hit!
With a Broadway theme, eight local stars performed amazing dances and raised funds while entertaining a sold-out crowd in the Cowlitz Ballroom at ilani Casino Resort. The fundraiser for the Rotary Club of Three Creeks Foundation raised a best-ever $58,909, topping the $52,000 raised in 2021 during a pandemic-pivot virtual event, Dining with the Local Stars.
“I couldn’t be prouder of all of the local stars, dance pros, and – of course – of the small but mighty Rotary Club of Three Creeks,” said 2021-22 Club President Nelson Holmberg. “The fact that we were one of the community’s first major in-person fundraisers as we begin to come out of the pandemic restrictions makes it even more impressive. The giving hearts in this community never disappoint.”
Heidi Johnson Bixby won the coveted Mirror Ball Trophy in the 2022 event by raising a record $21,880. Cyndi Holloway of Waste Connections raised $19,082 for the previous record in 2020. Kinsey Dhoot represented the Rotary Club of Three Creeks as a dancer and raised $11,203 – the most-ever by a club representative – to finish second in fundraising.
Angie Cherry and her dance instructor partner Aaron Siebol scored the night's first perfect 40 from judges and won the night's Best Dance Performance. It was Siebol's second Best Dance win in DWTLS, after having paired with Kelley Campbell of Specialty Graphic Solutions for the win in 2019.
“It’s remarkable what this year’s cast accomplished, really,” Holmberg said. “The cast of local stars and dance pros experienced a competitor dropping out a month before the event, a new Local Star coming in a week later and quickly rising the fundraising scoreboard, three Covid isolations, changes in instructors due to Covid, snow days, difficulty finding locations to rehearse, or whatever other reason you could imagine. I personally thank this entire cast.”
The full cast of Dancing with the Local Stars included Cherry (Summit Funding), Dhoot (Rotary Club of Three Creeks) also dancing with Siebol, Johnson Bixby (Johnson Bixby & Associates) dancing with Ralph Stevens, Sarah Laughlin (Fuel Medical Group) dancing with Maksim Linchuk, James Oneil (Columbia Credit Union) dancing with Dani Synarski, Thomas O'Sullivan (ilani Casino Resort) dancing with Kristina Hendrickson, Nathan Stafford (Banner Bank) dancing with Melinda Piekstra, and Nic Stevens (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) dancing with Susan Vandervlugt.
During the event, the Rotary Club of Three Creeks Foundation also presented a check for $13,000 to North County Community Food Bank, one of the benefactors of funds raised by Dancing with the Local Stars. Since its founding in 2016, the club has given nearly $100,000 to organizations benefiting children, veterans, homeless & hungry in Clark County. All of that giving was a direct result of the club’s fundraiser.
Judges included dance pro Nicole Wieteska, Campbell (DWTLS winner in 2019), former Washington State University quarterback and Pac-10 Co-Offensive Player of the Year Jason Gesser and Kelly Muscarella, who won an audience drawing to be the fourth judge.
Master of Ceremonies for the second straight year was Tim Gordon, general assignment reporter at KGW Channel 8.
First Dance Productions and Bridge City Ballroom Dance produced and choreographed the dances, and provided instructor partners for the local stars.