As entertaining as the action on the dance floor was Friday night at the Boca Raton Resort & Club, the scene backstage at Boca’s Ballroom Battle proved equally compelling.
The eight dancers who combined to raise a record amount for the George Snow Scholarship Fund—Peg Anderson, Chris Nichols, Holly Meehan, Elias Janetis, Brian Altschuler, Donna Parlapiano (pictured above), Frank McKinney and Wendy Sadusky—were all nervous bundles of energy. Some went through core elements of their 1980s-inspired routines one last time, one sought a little calm and solitude, and a few paced the hallway like expectant parents in a hospital waiting room.
After each performance, however, the dancers returned backstage with tales to share with BocaMagTV. For Janetis, who donned boxing gloves for his “Eye of the Tiger” routine, the experience proved transformative in more ways than one; he lost nearly 30 pounds while training at Fred Astaire Dance Studio Studios in Boca. McKinney, in true rock-n-roll style, went on with the show despite taking a guitar to the head the night before while practicing to AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long.”
For Altschuler (pictured below), the top male fundraiser with more than $34,000, the evening struck an emotional chord. The executive director of human resource operations at Boca Raton Regional Hospital broke down after discussing the partner he lost four years ago, Ernie Borowsky. Altschuler dedicated his performance and fundraising efforts to Ernie, who was the first in his family to attend college.
Though Parlapiano shared with us that it’s not easy to “Walk Like an Egyptian,” that didn’t stop her from raising $122,185—more money than any individual has raised in the eight-year history of the Ballroom Battle. All told, the evening drew more than $350,000 for Scholarship Fund president Tim Snow’s beloved organization. This past year, the Scholarship Fund awarded $615,791 in scholarships and scholars support services to 67 students—expect those numbers to increase in 2016.
Congratulations to Tim Snow and everyone involved with the Ballroom Battle—and stay tuned to BocaMagTV later this week for a behind-the-scenes video recap of the event.