Mt. Vernon, Illinois –   Dig out your dancing shoes and dust off your dance routines as Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois' Dancing With OUR Stars (DWOS) fundraiser will be held at Krieger's Convention Center at the Holiday Inn in Mt. Vernon on Saturday, July 27.  This is the 5th year that GSSI has hosted this popular fundraiser to support its mission of building girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.

"We are thrilled about our upcoming Dancing With OUR Stars fundraiser," said Tricia Higgins, GSSI Communications and Marketing Manager.  "A large part of the event's success has to do with our community members who are willing to participate in the event as dancers.  We are in the process now of filling our dance card, so we encourage our community members to contact us to be a part of this year's event to make it the most successful DWOS yet!"

The agenda for the event consists of a cocktail hour and silent auction beginning at 5:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. and the Celebrity Star Dance competition at 7:30 p.m. After the stars take to the floor, guests can dance until midnight thanks to DJ Fred Klapetzky.    

Tickets for the DWOS event are $45, which includes dinner and an evening of dancing.  Table sponsorships are available for $500 and include a table for 10 attendees.

Jo David Cummins with Community First Bank of the Heartland will serve as host for the evening, and Brandon Bullard with the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce will serve as co-host.  Mike Beard of The Insurance Store, Mary Beth Mezo of Mt. Vernon Township High School and Brian Mooney of Studio B will serve as celebrity judges for the evening.   

Teams will be competing to win DWOS' renowned mirror ball trophy by earning the top spot in a two part scoring system. The judges' scores provide the first element to the dancers' scores.  The second element adds a dash of audience participation and even more excitement, as dancers can accrue points with each donation from their supporters. At the end of the DWOS competition, the mirror ball trophy goes home with the team with the highest overall score.     

Current DWOS sponsors include Community First Bank of the Heartland, Crossroads Community Hospital and WDML.  Lighting, music and videography for the dances will be provided by Fred Klapetzky.

All proceeds from DWOS will be used to provide financial assistance to at-risk girls, to maintain and improve GSSI camps, and to develop Girl Scout leadership programs for nearly 14,000 girls throughout southern Illinois.

For more information about participating in Dancing With Our Stars as a dance team or sponsor, please contact Tricia Higgins at 618.242.5079 or by e-mail at dancing@gsofsi.org.

Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois serves 14,000 girls and nearly 5,000 adult volunteers in more than 40 counties in southern Illinois. Girl Scouting has inspired more than 50 million girls and women since its founding in 1912. Girl Scouting is focused on providing a premier Girl Scout Leadership Experience for girls in the 21st century, while ensuring the traditions and values that have been core to Girl Scouting since its beginning remain strong and relevant. 

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