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Virginia Down Syndrome Association set to host “Dancing with the Local Stars” fundraiser with Richmond celebrities 

The Virginia Down Syndrome Association (VDSA) will host its inaugural “Dancing with the Local Stars” fundraising event on May 25 at the Altria Theater to celebrate the organization’s 40th anniversary. 

Trevor Dickerson

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The Virginia Down Syndrome Association (VDSA) will host its inaugural “Dancing with the Local Stars” fundraising event on May 25 at the Altria Theater to celebrate its 40th anniversary.

The evening will feature a dance competition between five Richmond celebrities and specialty dancers from Miracles in Motion. This non-profit dance group provides specialized dance instruction to individuals with disabilities of all ages. All dancers, four of whom have Down syndrome, will perform a choreographed dance as a pair.

The pairings include:

  • Logan Montcrief (Miracles in Motion) and Matt DiNardo (8News meteorologist)
  • Leah McGowen (Miracles in Motion) and Dan Schultheis, Jr. (Vice President, Atlantic Constructors)
  • Emily Dodge (Miracles in Motion) and Breanna Glass (Washington Commanders cheerleader)
  • Taylor Carpenter (Miracles in Motion) and Hermie Sadler (former NASCAR driver and Fox Sports analyst)
  • Kathryn Mary Costanzo (Miracles in Motion) and Julie Bragg (CBS6 news anchor)

The dance competition will be emceed by Anthony Antoine, news anchor for NBC12. Judges include Janai Santiago and Matt Lomaka, two individuals with Down syndrome, and radio hosts Kat Simons on Mix 98.1 FM and Mike King on 106.1 ESPN Richmond.

Supporters are encouraged to vote for their favorite dance team by making a donation.

“We are celebrating 40 years of supporting, educating, and advocating for individuals with Down Syndrome and their families,” said Jennifer Case, executive director of VDSA. “When the organization was founded, the life expectancy for individuals with Down syndrome was only 25 years of age. Now, the life expectancy is over 60 years, thanks to advances in medical care and the support we receive to serve hundreds of families across Virginia.”

VDSA is the commonwealth’s leading organization committed to improving the quality of life for individuals with Down syndrome, serving more than 700 families throughout Central Virginia, Williamsburg, Charlottesville, Fredericksburg, and the Central Shenandoah Valley. Individual and family support includes educational programming, workforce development training, social and support groups, hospital visits, pediatric therapy, and free resources.

“Our Dancing with the Local Stars fundraiser will make a direct impact in the community,” Case said. “Join us for an evening to celebrate members of our community that bring us joy and their talents every day.”

Tickets are $100 and include a cocktail hour, sit-down dinner, and entertainment. Learn more and purchase tickets at virginiadsa.org.

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Trevor Dickerson is the Editor and Co-Founder of RVAHub.