Bristol Roundup

Bristol Native Puts On His Dancing Shoes

indexBRISTOL – Once again the Ronald McDonald House of Connecticut (RMHCT) is proud to partner with Kids for Kids, Dancing for Life! Inc. and present the 5th Annual Dancing Under the Stars fundraiser. The black tie optional event featuring local celebrities paired with professional dancers for a lively competition will take place on Friday, Feb. 28, at the Omni New Haven Hotel Grand Ballroom beginning at 6 p.m. Tickets are $100 per person and include a seated dinner (tables of 12). To purchase tickets, please contact the Ronald McDonald House of Connecticut at 203-777-LOVE (5683).

Dancing Under the Stars is the newest of RMHCT’s signature fundraising events and is rapidly gaining recognition and praise as a fantastic night of dinner, dancing, and competition. This year’s dancers hail from North Haven, West Haven, Hamden, and New Haven.

Professional dance partners are all from Dance In Rhythm in Branford and generously donate their time and talents to train the celebrity dancers on the intricacies of ballroom dance. Each celebrity adds his or her own flair to a choreographed routine for the audience and the judges to enjoy. Judges share their commentaries of each performance, and the evening concludes with an awards ceremony decided not only by the judges but also by the audience!

News Channel 8’s Gil Simmons is the event emcee, and there will be a special dance exhibition by the 2013 Dancing Under the Stars overall winner Johnny Mac of Barberino Nissan. To celebrate the 5th anniversary of this event, there will be a special Battle of the Fan Favorites in which Fan Favorite award winners from the past four years’ events compete with one another.

This year’s celebrity dancers are: Joyce Altieri of Flair for Hair, Craig Capurso of Fire and Ice Fitness, Michael Cantarella of the Richard Penna Salon, Diana Ferrucci of Macy’s, David Fisch of Radio 104, and Mario Landino of North Haven Paul Mitchell School.

Squaring off for the Dancing Under the Stars 5th Anniversary “Battle of the Fan Favorites” are: Richard Branigan of Kids for Kids, Dancing for Life and the American Red Cross of CT and RI; Larry Lazaroff of Arnold’s Jewelers; John Picard, Former Mayor of West Haven; and Theresa Viele of the American Red Cross of Connecticut and RI and the North Haven Rotary.

The revenue generated from Dancing Under the Stars directly benefits the families who stay at RMHCT throughout the year. Since opening in 1985, RMHCT has served over 10,000 families from 130 Connecticut communities, 43 states, and 36 countries. Each RMHCT guest room and accompanying services costs approximately $125 per night.

However, since families seeking specialized treatment are facing the steep financial hardships that often accompany illness, those who stay at the RMHCT are asked to donate just $15 per night for their stays and RMHCT never turns away any family who is unable to pay. For more information about RMHCT, visit and connect on Facebook at RMH Connecticut.

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