Arkansas Celebrities Perform in Dance Competition to Raise Money for the Children’s Tumor Foundation
On September 9, local celebrities will return to the ballroom for the 14th annual Dancing with our Stars Gala, a yearly ballroom dance competition. Months of rehearsals with local dance instructors will culminate in a one-time performance that raises money to fund critical neurofibromatosis (NF) research and supports local NF clinics. This year’s Little Rock stars vying for a chance to take home the coveted mirror ball trophy are:
Dr. DJ Dailey – DDS, Owner of Smile Dailey: General and Cosmetic Dentistry
Julie Gorman – pharmacist, mom, endurance athlete & 2019 NF Community Service Award recipient
Susie Morgan – community leader & volunteer
Ted Mullinex – CEO, Mullenix & Associates
Donnie Van Patter – Owner, Donnie’s Foreign Cars and Donnie’s Off Road
Helaine Williams – Columnist & Sunday Style Editor, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Hosted by the Arkansas Chapter of the Children’s Tumor Foundation – this year’s fundraiser features a reception, silent auction, seated dinner and dancing at the Robinson Center Ball Room in Little Rock. There will also be a virtual livestream making for a unique and festive experience for the broader community who cannot attend, yet wish to see the performances and support them through voting online.
“The Gala committee is looking forward to seeing everyone in person, while also having a virtual aspect for those unable to attend in person,” says Daniel Robinson, a CTF Arkansas Board of Directors member and this year’s emcee (who has also won one of the coveted mirror ball trophies). “This is an extremely fun event that makes a real difference for research and awareness, in Arkansas and beyond.”
“I think this particular event helps bring so much awareness to the Children’s Tumor Foundation,” adds Rachel Parker Harding, former competing star and current Arkansas Advisory Board of Directors member and Dancing with Our Stars Northwest Arkansas co-chair. “It makes me happy to know awareness and attention is being brought to something that affects so many.”
On October 9, CTF Arkansas will host the first-ever Northwest Arkansas Dancing with Our Stars Gala in Bentonville – creating an additional evening of dancing, awareness and inspiring stories. Since its inception, the Arkansas Chapter has raised over $2 million for NF research through its Dancing with Our Stars Gala and other local events.
Neurofibromatosis is a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body and may lead to blindness, deafness, bone abnormalities, disfigurement, learning disabilities, disabling pain, and cancer. It affects millions of people worldwide and may arise in any family regardless of gender, race, or ethnic origin. While the FDA recently approved the first-ever treatment, Koselugo (selumetinib), for inoperable plexiform neurofibromas, there is no cure at this time for NF.
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About the Children’s Tumor Foundation
The Children’s Tumor Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to finding effective treatments for the millions of people worldwide living with neurofibromatosis (NF), a term for three distinct disorders: NF1, NF2, and schwannomatosis. NF causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body and may lead to blindness, deafness, bone abnormalities, disfigurement, learning disabilities, disabling pain, and cancer. NF affects 1 in every 3,000 births across all populations equally. There is one approved drug for the treatment of inoperable plexiform neurofibromas, a subset of the NF1 patients. The Children’s Tumor Foundation’s mission of driving research, expanding knowledge, and advancing care for the NF community fosters our vision of one day ending all manifestations of NF.