Photography by Carper Creative Photography
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.
Children’s Tumor Foundation also provides support for children and families affected by NF. A portion of gala proceeds will support the Adult NF Clinic Pilot Program. We’re putting each star in the spotlight and introducing them on our blog. They will compete at the Sept. 8 gala, in addition to soliciting contributions + votes prior to the event.
Barry Simon – President, Datamax
Dancing with Maddie Arancibia
Barry Simon, a native of Chicago, moved to Little Rock in 1985 to become president of Datamax Office Systems, now known as Datamax Inc. With a life full of adventures, Barry has been mountain biking in Utah for five days camping along the way, and lived in three states in 10 months. As a teenager, he cleaned a section of Wrigley Field in exchange for a ticket to the next home game.
Datamax and Barry has always believed in creating Raving Fans both of our employees and our customers by honoring our commitments and understands how important our community is to our success. Encouraged (putting it mildly) by Rick Fleetwood and Hubert Barksdale, Barry is looking forward to honoring his commitment to the Children’s Tumor Foundation 2022 Dancing with Our Stars event. The closest Barry has to dancing skills is dressing up as Dorothy from Wizard of Oz at a college Halloween party… complete with a dog named Toto.
Barry currently lives in Little Rock with his wife Patti, whom he married 44 years ago in a bar. Barry also has one son Cody, a daughter-in-law Drew, and a grandson Barrett. Barry’s favorite quote is “The Best Is Yet To Be!” It will definitely be that as Barry takes to the stage to entertain his friends, family, and the community for a truly worthwhile cause.
In his own words…
Why did you chose to participate as a Star in the Children’s Tumor Foundation’s Dancing with Our Stars event?
Hubert Barksdale had asked me previously to attend a Dancing with Our Stars gala and I’ve attended a few times in the past. I bought a table and had a great time while also contributing to a worthwhile cause. When it was time for the Children’s Tumor Foundation to start recruiting for this year’s stars, Rick Fleetwood and Michelle Towne encouraged me to participate in the event. I wasn’t so sure my ability to dance matched their enthusiasm but it’s the belief of our company and myself that we always want to give back to the community. When I mentioned the possibility of this opportunity with several managers, they not only agreed I should do this but stated I NEEDED to do this.
What is something that surprised you in preparation for the big event?
At first, I was assuming Maddie would just teach me a few moves and we would go out on stage and have fun but then I realized there was a lot more involved with the planning and preparation such as the type of music, a particular song to choreograph, learning all the different moves, and deciding on costumes. I’m sure that once we start rehearsals, there will be a lot more hard work involved in learning the routine as this is something I haven’t done before. I also like challenging myself to try something new and this definitely fits into that category.
Biggest performance fear?
I wouldn’t say this is a fear but whether I win or lose, I just want to make this a fun and entertaining experience for everybody and to help raise enough funds to assist the Children’s Tumor Foundation in accomplishing their goals. I want all the participants and spectators to walk away from the evening feeling good and knowing they all had a hand in giving to an amazing organization.