The dynamic duo of Austin fundraisers has done it again. Maria Groten and Mary Herr Tally returned to their posts as co-chairs of Dancing with the Stars Austin, benefiting the Center for Child Protection, on Sunday night at the Hilton and boy did they deliver!
Now in its sixth year, this annual event is one of the most thrilling of the fall social season. Who knew so many of our community stalwarts could shake a leg? Of course, there’s also huge kudos that must be given to the professional corps of dancers who train the amateurs to the point where they are ready for competition.
The 2012 edition saw artist Graydon Parish, AISD Superintendent Meria Carstarphen, personal trainer David Garza, and Citizen Generation Executive Director Alex Winkleman take their turns around the dance floor along with seven other local stars. In the end, the mirror ball trophy went to Andra Liemandt, the rock star mom from the band The Mrs.
Coming in as runners up were Carol Adams from Animal Trustees of Austin, and yogi/Renaissance Man, Clayton Aynesworth.
Sadly, this event has some pretty serious overtones to match the frivolity of the dancing. The Center for Child Protection is key in looking out for the welfare of otherwise invisible kids in our community, whether through providing a safe place to live in the face of a tragic situation, or protecting them from being victimized repeatedly. It’s a harsh reality, but this event has found the right balance between fun and raising awareness about those who need our help. What an unforgettable evening!