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New and alumni dancers literally kick off Boca’s Ballroom Battle

Restaurateur and alumni Derek Morrell wore his rhinestone and ruby dancing shoes.

His Loch Bar in Mizner Park hosted the dancers’ and sponsors’ kickoff for Boca’s Ballroom Battle Sept. 20 at the Boca Raton Resort & Club.

As a 2017 dancer, “I’m coaching Jason Hagensick,” Morrell said about the YMCA in Boca and Boynton’s CEO, one of eight who agreed to dance this year. “I told him not to be nervous and just have fun.”

Dancers also fund raise with proceeds going George Snow Scholarship Fund.

“I’m inspired by these students who get up every day and commit to be amazing,” said Diana Riser, president/co-owner of Pace Branding & Marketing. “We’re learning the steps,” she said about group lessons at Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Boca.

Margaret L. Blume signed on after attending last year’s Ballroom Battle.

“She learned a lot more about the dancer’s perspective and experience through Nancy Dockerty, the event co-chair, who danced last year,” said Kristin Calder, who was at the kickoff.

Calder danced the quick step to “Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend” in 2012 in a Marilyn Monroe persona. CEO of the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County, she applauded Blume for “accepting the dancer’s challenge. I know she will be fabulous.”

“We’ve been lucky enough to give our four kids an education,” 2019 dancer Fran Nachlas said about why she’s supporting scholarships.

“I couldn’t say no,” said 2019 dancer Jody Saffert, a director at Boca Raton Regional Hospital.

Orthodontist Dr. Minelle M. Tendler, Giorgio Armani Beauty makeup artist Tim Quinn and Eddie Ventrice, BV Group-UBS Private Wealth Management round out this year’s group.

Supporters can buy tickets and donate to dancers at

Fund president Tim Snow said he’s always amazed how people are willing to step out of their comfort zone to perform that night. “We’re blessed to have people who volunteer to do this,” he said.

Among the alumni dancers, event chairs, judges and fundraising winners at the kickoff were Peter Gary, founder and CEO of Pinnacle Advertising; Terry Fedele, Patricia Thomas, Brian Altschuler,  Patti Carpenter and Ingrid Fulmer.

Paige Kornblue Hunter said she and WPTV meteorologist Glenn Glazer will co-host again. Auctioneer will be Neil Saffer.

By Marci Shatzman


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