Each year, community leaders wear their dancing shoes for the coveted winning title that is earned at the Dancing with Our Stars Gala. All this fun and friendly competition benefits the Children’s Tumor Foundation and supports the Arkansas chapter’s research and mission: to end and find a cure for neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder that disturbs cell growth in the nervous system, causing tumors to form on nerve tissue.
CTF also provides support for children and families affected by NF. A portion of gala proceeds is donated for grants to send Arkansas teens to the International NF Camp.
We’re putting each star in the spotlight and introducing them on our blog. They will compete at the Sept. 5 gala, in addition to soliciting contributions + votes prior to the event.
Pete Tanguay – President, Rock Pond Pros
Pete is dancing with Instructor, Allison Stodola Wilson – Owner of Shuffles & Ballet II – to a musical theater routine “with a twist” including the theme song from Rocky and Champion by Carrie Underwood.
Q: Why did you agree to be a Dancing with Our Stars contestant?
A: Of all the fundraiser events I attend every year, this is my favorite. Watching people you know and look up to get out of their comfort zone and dance in front of a ballroom full of people, and always do so well, is fun. It was an honor to be asked to be a dancer. The mission of the Children’s Tumor Foundation is very close to my heart and the opportunity to be paired up with a professional dancer and see if I can bring the house down is going to be challenging and fun. Of all years, this is a special year because if we reach our goal to raise $250,000 on September 5th, we will cross the $2,000,000 mark of funds raised to fund research to find a cure for Neurofibromatosis for the Children’s Tumor Foundation through the Dancing with Our Stars event. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that!
Q: What is something that has surprised during preparation for the big event?
A: It has always surprised me that none of the dancers have made a major mistake or done something embarrassing. If you talk to them, they will tell you they have a fear of failure or embarrassment. But every year, the professional dancers get them ready and one by one they spin around, fly through the air and put on moves they (and the audience) didn’t expect them to have. That’s what I love most about this event, and I hope this holds true until I get off the dance floor!
Pete Tanguay has been raising awareness and financial support for the Children’s Tumor Foundation for over 10 years. In November of 2006, he turned 50 and decided earlier that year he wanted to be “fit by 50”. He registered for and completed the St. Jude Marathon in Memphis that December. He became an active runner and triathlete and through the NF Endurance Team, found a way to swim, bike and run “for a reason”. That reason was, and is, to raise awareness and financial support to find a cure for Neurofibromatosis (NF). Pete raced with NF Endurance Team in marathons, triathlons and Ironman events throughout the US and Europe (Berlin, Rome, Vienna and the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Zell Am See / Kaprun, Austria). Raising money and awareness was his contribution to the Children’s Tumor Foundation mission. In his words, “In return, I’ve met lifelong friends, including my NF hero Mavia and her family, and achieved more by “running for a reason” than I ever would have by running just for myself.”
Pete is a founding member of the Arkansas Advisory Board of Directors of the Children’s Tumor foundation and has been instrumental in the annual Little Rock Marathon and Dancing with our Stars fundraisers. He has been on the Arkansas CTF board for the past 4 years, working alongside some of the most passionate people you will ever meet. The national Children’s Tumor Foundation board recognizes the Arkansas Chapter as the one who sets the standard for a successful state CTF chapter.
When he is not training or racing, he moonlights as a professional dancer and is the recipient of many national performance awards. Nothing could be further from the truth! Rather, he has said NO four times when asked to be a dancer in the Dancing with our Stars evening. Stepping on the stage on September 5 will be waaaay out of his comfort zone. Knowing it will further the mission of the Children’s Tumor Foundation and will make a difference in the lives of so many people living with NF every day is why he is willing to take this leap of faith. Stop reading now and click on the “Vote Now” button above.
Pete moved here after graduation from the University of Colorado College of Business in January of 1980 to work for Systematics. In 1983 he started his first company, Personal Touch Software, that he sold to Baird, Kurtz & Dobson, CPA’s (BKD) in 1986. He started his second company, Management by Information, in 1990, to market a software product he developed for Dr. Gene Graves, a local pharmacist and entrepreneur who was a pioneer in the pharmacy industry through his company, I Care of Arkansas. MBI became the leading provider of software to the home infusion pharmacy industry and was sold to a public home infusion franchise company (Option Care) in 1986. He started his third company, Rock-Pond Solutions, in 2000 and built it into the leading data analytics company for the home infusion and specialty pharmacy industries with customers in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. In July of 2018, he sold this company to a global healthcare software company, Wellsky, to pursue his latest passion … retirement.
Retirement can either be the time when you stop working and prepare to die, or the beginning of the last phase of your life where you have more experience, knowledge, relationships and time than you’ve ever had, to do things you are passionate about and make a lasting difference in the lives of people and places. He chose the latter to guide the retirement phase of his life.
Pete has framed up his retirement vision, core values and mission in his new company, Rock Pond Pros. Peter means “Rock”, Lynn (his wife) means “pool of water” and Pros stands for PROjects and PROducts that impact people locally … globally. Rock Pond Pros is more focused on its Impact statement than a financial statement. Every day is filled with big and small opportunities to have an impact on others. He finds opportunities to make an impact through active involvement with community and non-profit organizations including the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce Board and Executive Board, Deliver Hope Board, Children’s Tumor Foundation Board, Community Development Foundation Board, Conway Kids Triathlon Race Director and is the underwriting sponsor for the Conway Area Leadership Institute, an initiative of the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce.
Pete truly believes we always receive more than we give when we step out of our comfort zone to make an impact and a difference.
Agreeing to be one of the dancers in the 2019 Dancing with Our Stars has already proven true to this belief. In his words, “Meeting Connie, Alisha, Wade, Chanda and Evans at our picture-taking event at the State Capital was the first indication that this step out of my comfort zone was going to give back so much more than I will give. These are 5 of the most solid, awesome and fun people I know, and I look forward to enjoying these new lifelong friendships!! I am excited to dance and compete against them in one of best fundraisers ever. The six of us, along with the entire CTF Arkansas team, are committed to taking our total funds raised through Dancing with Our Stars since its inception over the $2,000,000 mark in 2019.”
Clearly, this is where you come into the picture. Scroll up and click on the Vote Now button, especially if it is outside your comfort zone. See you on September 5.
VOTE FOR PETE: https://join.ctf.org/petetanguay