Seacoast National Bank’s Dana McSweeney declared PAL’s best dancer and top fundraiser
After McSweeney and Craig Galvin, her professional dance instructor, delivered a seemingly, effortless performance of the Salsa, the crowd erupted with cheers and frequent bursts of an air horn. When the five-member panel of judges came back with a near perfect score of 49, many in the audience leaped to their feet with an ovation.
McSweeney and Galvin received the highest score among the 8 competing dance teams. Accomplishing that feat coupled with raising $13,887 catapulted her to the top. Galvin captured his second title as a Dancing with our PALs professional instructor. He won the first competition in 2010.
“WOW,” McSweeney said. “I was worried about raising money for PAL, but I believe the biggest accomplishment was to be able to get up on stage and dance through the whole song.”
McSweeney along with her 7 competitors began in April preparing for the dance competition. In the midst of rehearsals, the dancers planned and coordinated fundraisers, sold tickets and promoted the event throughout the Treasure Coast. Their efforts raised a record $80,000 for the nearly 1,000 youth participating in boxing, football, cheerleading, basketball, track and field, T-ball, annual summer camps, youth leadership, mentoring, community service projects and youth crime prevention and development activities.
“It was an opportunity of a lifetime that I so enjoyed,” McSweeney said. “I met so many wonderful people and I think we all are winners for PAL.”
The other top fundraising teams were Troy Ingersoll and Lisa Johns-Grose and Candice Loupe and Bob Murray, each raising $10,638 and $8,310, respectively. The remaining teams of Falon Barker and Manolo Soler; Sandi Hellstrom and Thomas Isola; Leslie Knag and James Frederique; Suzanne Mogavero and Eliott Acosta and Rick McGuire and Janine Rivera.
The event, held at the Sunrise Theatre on Saturday, September 20, 2014, attracted a crowd of more than 800 friends, family and supporters. Those in attendance ranked among the who’s who in St. Lucie County branding the event as one not to be missed. Organizers have set the date for next year’s “Dancing with our PALs” and it will be held on Saturday, September 19, 2015 at the Sunrise Theatre.
“I am so grateful from the bottom of my heart for all the hard work and effort of everyone who made this event a huge success,” said Karen Pearson, event chairperson. “I am so glad it’s over, I have begun planning for next year.”
A portion of the funds from the event will be used to resurrect PAL’s dance and drama program, repair and renovate the bus which transports athletes to away games and competitions and on local and out of town field trips.