Each year, community leaders put on their dancing shoes in hopes of winning the title that is earned at the Dancing with Our Stars Gala. All this fun and friendly competition among participants 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 the proceeds is donated for grants to send Arkansas teens to the International NF Summer Camp held at Camp Kostopulos (Camp K).
Leading up to the grand event, we’re putting each star in the spotlight and introducing them on our blog. They will compete for the dancing title and mirror ball trophy at the Sept. 8 gala, in addition to soliciting contributions + votes prior to the event.
Meet Win Rockefeller (partnered with Sydney Kneuven of Dance Dynamics)
Win supports countless organizations and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Women and Children First and is president of the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute Foundation Board of Directors. In 2007, he and several friends recognized need for a young professionals organization to support, educate and help recruit for the cancer institute, and The Envoys was born. He graduated from Hendrix College with a degree in elementary education and passion for helping children with special needs.
Win married Natalie, last year’s Dancing with Our Stars champion, in 2011. Eighteen months later they welcomed their sons – twin boys born at 32 weeks – and still feel fortunate to have two healthy children. Win can’t promise he’ll have the best dance this year, but he attests that he’s “in it to Win it.”
Inviting Arkansas: Why do you choose to live and volunteer in Central Arkansas?
Win: Little Rock has always been where my immediate family lived. I grew up here. I was taught the importance of helping others and giving back. I had two parents that truly demonstrated this principle. I want my two sons to learn these values, and there is no better way than through action. Not to mention there are so many organizations in Arkansas that need support.
IA: Type of dance you’ve always wanted to learn?
Win: Swing – it has always appealed to me and I like the music.
IA: Dance claim to fame?
Win: My inability to dance at all.
IA: Why did you agree to be a Dancing with Our Stars contestant?
Win: After watching my wife and seeing the impact this organization had on her last year, it was easy to say “yes” when she asked me to dance.
IA: What do you most look forward to about the evening?
Win: I am really looking forward to the whole evening. I had never heard of NF before Natalie’s involvement last year. Seeing the kids really opened my eyes to a way of life for so many kids that is basically unknown to most people. I look forward to participating in Dancing with Our Stars and supporting the Children’s Tumor Foundation’s efforts to end NF.
IA: What are you nervous about?
Win: Everything! I am what you might call rhythmically challenged. To say this is out of my comfort zone is a serious understatement.