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Fundraiser for Shelby Senior Services switches to gala

After seven successful fundraising competitions, Dancing with the Shelby County Stars will not occur in 2019. In its place as a fundraiser for Shelby Senior Services will be a black tie gala event on Oct. 5 that will feature a 10-piece band.

By ROSS FLINT - rflint@shelbynews.com

This year’s efforts to raise money for Shelby Senior Services will look a bit different this year.

There will still be dancing involved – just not of the competitive variety.

Organizers for the annual event decided to change things up this year. So the event will no longer be Dancing with the Shelby County Stars, a dance competition that took place the past seven years and featured local residents.

It will instead be a black tie gala event.

“It was just time for something different,” said Jenni Haehl, one of the organizers for the gala. “It was getting harder and harder to get people to agree to put in the time (for Dancing With the Shelby County Stars).”

The dancing competition benefited Shelby Senior Services and Shelby County Players and she said it was “very, very profitable” for the organizations.

The gala event will specifically benefit Shelby Senior Services, she said.

Last year’s competition featured 10 teams. Each of those teams was tasked with raising money in advance, and they were able to raise $60,330.23.

The effort to raise money and the amount of time it took for the teams to prepare their dances made it difficult for organizers to find enough willing participants, Haehl said.

“It was getting harder and harder to find people willing to do that,” she said. “It was just time for a change. It was still a great event.”

So the decision was made following last year’s event to make the switch. By March, organizers started planning the upcoming gala that will be Oct. 5 at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino in Shelbyville.

Now with the change, the gala will feature a 10-piece live band, The Impalas, a cover band from Indianapolis that plays well-known rock ‘n roll, blues and pop songs from “ABC” by the Jackson 5 to “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond.

The fundraiser will take place through a live auction that features different experiences including trips and local celebrities offering their culinary services, Haehl said.

A fishing trip in Florida and a trip to New York City, which won’t be fully covered and will require some out-of-pocket expenses, are among the traveling opportunities.