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Dancing with the Philadelphia Stars for Sickle Cell Disease Awareness

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Dancing with the Philadelphia Stars logoCha Cha your way over to the Hyatt Regency in Penns Landing for this high profile event. 

Get ready, Philly! On Sunday, April 18, nine local Philadelphians will compete in the city’s very own 2nd Annual Dancing with the Philadelphia Stars. This high profile event, presented by Brownstone PR and taking place from 5-10pm at the Hyatt Regency at Penns Landing, is aiming to raise Sickle Cell disease awareness. 

Last year, the event successfully raised $6,000 to fund Sickle Cell education and programs and benefit the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America. The nine well-known Philadelphians participating in this year’s Dancing with the Philadelphia Stars hope to do the same. 

Dancing with the Philadelphia StarsThe dance lineup includes Brian Freedman, a noted food and wine writer; Honorable Blondell Reynolds Brown, Councilwoman-At-Large; Christina Pirello, Emmy-Award winning host of Christina Cooks!; Dana Spain, founder of the Philadelphia Animal Welfare society (PAWS); Dorothy Johnson-Speight, founder of Mothers in Charge; G-N Kang, co-host of Wired 96.5’s Chio in the Morning show; Jason Evenchik, owner of TIME, Vintage Wine Bar and Bar; Maxx Stoyanoff, lead singer and MC of Black Landlord; and Sabrina Tamburino Thorne, finance and budget coordinator at GPTMC.

Hosted by CBS Radio’s Jamyra Perry and judged by local creative dance directors, this year’s event is destined to be a huge hit. Miss Philadelphia Andrea Helfrich is scheduled to make an appearance, as well as last year’s winner, Erin Elmore, co-creator of Scartini Scar-Cream and contestant on the 3rd season of The Apprentice. The fundraiser is a fun way for noted Philadelphians to show off their moves, but raising Sickle Cell disease awareness is the main goal of the night. 

Michael Callahan, Articles Editor for Philadelphia Magazine and contestant in last year’s Dancing with the Philadelphia Stars, said of the event, “Obviously, every life-threatening illness deserves awareness and support for a cure. What I loved about the concept of Dancing with the Philadelphia Stars was that it turned a popular television concept on its ear to do so for an illness that might otherwise not get any kind of real exposure in terms of fundraising and support.”

Sickle Cell disease, often referred to as the “forgotten disease,” is a genetic lifelong disorder that affects 80,000 individuals in the world. The disease is staggeringly prevalent in African-Americans, affecting one out of every 500 people. 

As far as this year’s contestants, Michael puts his money on the ladies. He said, “I think Blondell Reynolds Brown is a born show-woman and she'll pack the place with supporters, and knowing what I do of Sabrina Thorne, I strongly suspect she paid for 25 extra lessons in order to get a leg up on the competition. Personally, I'm rooting for wine writer Brian Freedman—someone's gotta support the journalist!”

The event is black-tie with tickets priced at $90 each. You can purchase tickets on www.dancingwiththephiladelphiastars.com or by calling (215) 471-8686. Follow Dancing with the Philadelphia Stars on Twitter @DancePhillyStar and become a Facebook fan.

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Jacalyn Clay is a recent Temple U. grad striving to make a difference in the professional media world. She also wishes that she could do the Cha Cha. Contact her at jacalynclay@gmail.com  or find her on Twitter@jacalynclay