Local ‘stars’ ready to dance for Board of Developmental Disabilities

The duo have teamed up to compete in “Dancing For Our Stars,” a fund-raising event set for Nov. 16 for Friends of Citizens with Disabilities, a Political Action Committee serving the Butler County Board of Developmental Disabilities.

“Friends of Citizens is responsible for raising all funds needed to run a successful ballot initiative for the Board of DD,” said spokesperson Wendy Planicka.

The Board of DD plans to run a levy in either 2015 or later, she said. Friends of Citizens is trying to raise $125,000 for the campaign.

To that end, nine “celebrity” couples have been practicing for more than two months for their chance in the spotlight to compete in the Dancing For Our Stars event.

Campbell is one of the true celebrities of the evening, well-known around Hamilton as the manager of Badin High School’s basketball team and a long-time bagger at the Kroger store on the West Side. He has also been active in the Butler County Board of Developmental Disabilities “Erase the R Word” initiative.

In 2010, he was recognized for his service by receiving the board’s Lloyd Harris Community Award, presented to a person with a developmental disability who has made significant contributions to their community through their employment or volunteer service.

For the past three years, Brown, a senior at Miami University, and Campbell have been paired through the Best Buddies program, an initiative that pairs DD clients and Miami University students for one-on-one activities to promote postive relationships and social activities for the clients.

They go to a lot of movies, Brown said, and she has taken Campbell to Reds and Bengals games, and they sometimes go bowling.

Their dancing routine, choreographed by Brown’s friend Alex Tregmalio, a member of the Miami University Shakerettes, includes snippets from “I’ve Got Rhythm,” “Gangnam Style” and Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.”

“I wanted to do it because it was something fun and I want to see if we can win,” Campbell said. “And we can help others.”

This year’s dancing couples are: Joanne and Brad Arnott; Deb Gooch and Michael Johnson; Marietta Guliano and Mike Sweetin; Sheree and Mike Lynch; Terrie and Tim Rapp; Mary Ramirez Cook and Teddy Kremer; and Watoiya Williams and Julian Robb

There will also be a special performance by Cassie Sullivan and Mike Berding.

The winning couple will not be judged on their dancing skills, however, but on how much money they raise for the cause.

Campbell has been passing out business cards at Kroger, where posters of him and Brown hang on the front doors to garner votes, and students at Badin High School have been holding fund-raising activities to help the pair out.

All of the dancing couples are accepting online votes at www.citizenswithdisabilities.com.

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