Bits n Pieces: 'Local stars' cut a rug at fundraiser

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Dancing with the Local Stars 2013

Dancing with the Local Stars, an annual fundraiser for the Fort Vancouver National Trust, is at 5 today at the Hilton Vancouver Washington, 301 W. Sixth St.

Here are the stars who will dance:

• Rob Cloke, trainer, Northwest Personal Training.

• Jane Cook, social media strategist.

• Linda Glover, executive director, Gifts For Our Community/Divine Consign.

• Amit Gosalia, president/owner, Audiology Clinic Inc.

• Bart Hansen, member, Vancouver City Council.

• Jim Mains, owner, mainDISTINCTION.

• Dellan Redjou, owner, Smokey’s Pizza.

• Robert Stewart, investment adviser, Columbia Credit Union.

• Shannon Walker, president, Southwest Washington Central Labor Council.

After months of rumba lessons, he's still trying to train his "two left feet."

But Vancouver's Jim Mains, owner of consulting firm mainDISTINCTION, didn't sign up for Dancing with the Local Stars to become the next Mikhail Baryshnikov or even the next Kevin Bacon. He just wanted to lend a hand, along with his sometimes-clumsy feet.

"The real competition is obviously raising the money," said Mains, one of nine notable Clark County residents set to take the stage and perform a special dance number to benefit the Fort Vancouver National Trust at its biggest fundraiser of the year.

Mains and the other competitors were each paired with a professional from the Arthur Murray Dance Studio to train for the big show, where they will perform a 90-second themed dance crafted with help from their instructor. The champion won't be the one with the smoothest moves, it will be the one who can bring in the most money for the Fort Vancouver National Trust, a organization dedicated to boosting the Fort Vancouver National Site.

The local stars on this year's lineup might not be famous on the level of those who have appeared on the fundraiser's television inspiration, ABC's "Dancing With The Stars." But in these parts, the amateur dancers are movers and shakers — now literally along with figuratively.

Despite their varying backgrounds — one is a pizza shop owner, another is an audiologist — the competitors all have one thing in common: a strong sense of civic support. Each pledged to raise at least $5,000 and the Trust's Senior Development Director Alishia Topper said most soared past that mark before the final week, easily putting the nonprofit on track to reach its goal of bringing in more than $100,000.

The stars will show off their skills tonight at 5 inside the Hilton Vancouver Washington. Tickets are $50 and include dinner. More details can be found at www.fortvan.org/dwtls.html.

Topper promises an outrageous show with lots of surprises, none of which she would spoil.

"There may be some fun twists that the audience would never expect to see inside the Hilton. Ever," she said.

She did agree to give a hint: "It may involve live animals."

— Stover E. Harger III


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