Dancers train to be ‘stars’ at CASA fundraiser

FREMONT – Sandusky County Stars Dancing for CASA are preparing for this year’s event to take place at the Heights, 2000 Buckland Ave., Fremont.

The six Sandusky County star dance contenders are Kimberly Lamb Bratic, Clyde, sergeant in the National Guard and public affairs specialist; Tim Cullen, St. Joseph Central Catholic principal; Joyce Huntley, director of public relations at WSOS; Melanie Mischler AVP, Key Bank branch manager and former volunteer; Terry Thatcher, Sandusky County commissioner and doctor of chiropractic; and Mike Willis, heavy equipment operator and estimator at Willis & Sons Inc., and captain on the Sandusky Township Fire Department.

For the next several weeks, the celebrity dancers will be practicing with dance instructors from Sandusky dance studios, Black Tie and Dance N Style. Each couple will present their dance routine at the event. The star dancer receiving the most votes will be declared the winner of the People’s Choice Award.

Bratic returned from Afghanistan in August and received a Bronze Star for her work in Operation Enduring Freedom. In a written statement, Bratic said children need to have a voice that speaks in their best interest and communicates their concerns and needs. She praised the work of CASA volunteers.

“It is unfortunate that there are so many children put in situations where an outsider needs to step in,” Bratic said. “As a mother who has gone through a divorce, I can recognize where having an advocate for the children is beneficial. With the help of the fundraiser, CASA can continue to assist children with the voice they need in troubled times. I am very blessed to be a part of the Sandusky County Stars Dancing for CASA.”

Tracie Cress, executive director for CASA of Seneca, Sandusky and Wyandot Counties, said CASA helps kids who get lost in the halls of the court system. Cress said the dancing event has become popular since it began two years ago. Funds raised are used exclusively for recruiting, training and supervising volunteers.

Tickets are available for $30 each at the CASA office in Fremont, 500 W. State St., Suite D, and at 21 Court St. Call (419) 355-1442 or (419) 448-1442 to reserve tickets. Credit cards are accepted. Hors d’oeuvres will be served and a cash bar will be available. Table sponsorships also are available. There is limited seating.