Zachary Leonard (Zach) and Donna Werking are dancing for a cause on April 14. This team was nominated as contestants in this year’s 2nd Annual Dancing for the Stars (DFTS) event held at the Elks Theater and Performing Arts Center.
Dancing for the Stars was brought to Prescott by Nicole Kennedy, vice president of development for Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Arizona. “This event is a unique experience, both glamorous and highly entertaining,” she said. “Dancing for the Stars brings our community together in a fun way, while raising much needed funds to support our club kids in the Quad Cities area.”
Ten dance teams were selected to perform this April. The teams are made up of celebrities and professional dancers in the community. In addition to learning a dance routine, they are bringing together friends and sponsors alike in support of our local Boys & Girls Clubs. Donna Werking, owner of Northern AZ Social, was selected by the club’s board as a celebrity dancer. Paired with her is Zach Leonard, who performed as a dancer in the 2017 Dancing for the Stars event.
Leonard has lived in Prescott for more than five years. The Boys & Girls Clubs have been a staple in his family’s life as he recalls his dad going to the clubs early on. “My grandfather worked a lot, so my dad visited the clubs after school. It was a huge part of his childhood. I think the clubs are critical to any healthy community.”
Leonard has been dancing since age 11 and specializes in hip-hop. A man of many talents, he is also experienced in tap, jazz and contemporary. Leonard performed with Leza Dandos, M.C. for Magic 99.1FM, in the 2017 DFTS event and took home the Judges Choice Award for a 1970’s themed performance on hoverboards. Zach is a Physician Assistant at the Prescott and Prescott Valley NextCare Urgent Care as well as Yavapai Regional Medical Center’s emergency room. Leonard said, “I’d like to think I help heal the community medically and dancing in this event is my way of giving back to the families in a different way.”
Werking has lived in Prescott for more than 23 years. She has provided marketing services for more than 13 years to the Prescott area, which has allowed her to work with many organizations in the Quad Cities area. When asked about dancing, she said, “I’m not a dancer but I promise it will be entertaining and it’s all for a good cause! The Boys & Girls Clubs in the Prescott area are consistently providing new educational programs to our children, which is vital to their future as adults. Vote for Zach and Donna to support our kids!”
DFTS has instantly become one of the most highly anticipated events in Prescott. The inaugural event (2017) raised more than $130,000 for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Arizona. The 2018 evening show, which includes an elegant reception followed by an exclusive red-carpet experience and VIP after party, sold out in 22 hours.
Former board member Dee Toci called Dancing for the Stars “the most exciting event [she’s] attended in over 30 years in Prescott!” Celebrities compete for awards, including People’s Choice and Best Friendraiser for securing the most votes and most funds raised, respectively. “This proved to be an event unlike anything Prescott has ever seen,” said Nicole Kennedy.
If you must have evening tickets, Northern AZ Social will be auctioning off two sets of tickets for the evening performance held on April 14, 2018, which includes the reception, red-carpet and VIP after party. Simply email your bid now through April 9 to NorthernAZsocial@gmail.com. Bids start at $200 per ticket. The two highest bidders will be selected at 5 p.m., April 9. Those who cannot attend, but want to support their favorite celebrity, can purchase votes. Vote purchases qualify for the Arizona State Charitable Tax Credit.
Learn more about Dancing for the Stars 2018 or buy votes at www.DancingfortheStars.net.
The clubs are a vital resource for families, providing after-school programming to youth ages 6 -18. Youth are at greatest risk of becoming victims of crime, experimenting with drugs and alcohol, and other risky behaviors during after-school hours. The Boys & Girls Clubs provide a home away from home during this time. As one of the few after-school youth development organizations in the community, BGCCAZ is uniquely positioned through their specialized programs to positively affect the lives of the youth they serve. QCBN
By Morgan Roddy