Dancing with the Stars for Hope goes virtual

One of Habersham County’s most highly-anticipated events of the year is going virtual. The popular Dancing with the Stars for Hope fundraiser scheduled for September 26 will now be streamed live.

The dance-off among teams of local celebrities is a take on the hit ABC show Dancing with the Stars. It’s been a hugely successful fundraiser for Circle of Hope in past years. The Habersham County-based nonprofit provides shelter and assistance to women and children who are victims of domestic violence in Habersham, Stephens, and White counties.

“Due to current events surrounding the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, and to offer a proper level of safety for our dancers, volunteers, attendees, and community, we have made the difficult decision to reduce the seating capacity for the Dancing with the Stars for Hope fundraising event,” says Circle of Hope Executive Director Suzanne Dow. “Although disappointing, we feel this is the best way to proceed based on current information.”

This year’s event, for the most part, is the same competition that was postponed last March because of the pandemic (there have been a few team changes). However, because of the current COVID surge, existing ticket holders will not be allowed into the venue. In-person attendance will be limited to the dancers’ families and event sponsors.

DWTS for Hope will instead be live-streamed free to the community on Sunday, September 26. You may access it beginning at 3 p.m. that day on the Circle of Hope website at www.gacircleofhope.org.

Some of the teams have changed since 2020, but event planners say they are thankful for the patience and dedication those participating have demonstrated throughout the challenges of reorganizing a large event.

Virtual voting

While the show will be virtual, viewers can still participate. Audience members will help determine the ‘Most Entertaining Award’ for best performance and the ‘People’s Choice Award’ for most funds raised by casting votes and donating during the live stream.

Voting is already underway for People’s Choice at dancingwiththestarsforhope.com.

The money raised from this event goes to support the many programs and services Circle of Hope offers to the approximately 600 domestic violence victims it serves each year.

Board members hope ticket holders will consider donating the money they paid for their tickets. Those wanting refunds should email contact@gacircleofhope.org before September 22, 2021. No refunds will be issued after that date.

“We are so appreciative of how the community has come together to support this event in recent years. We apologize for any inconvenience this decision may cause and look forward to hosting the event safely with a full auditorium in the future,” Dow says, noting that planning for next year’s DWTS for Hope will begin in a few months.

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