Dancing With the DeKalb Stars returns to packed house

The DeKalb County Solicitor-General’s office on April 29 hosted its first Dancing with the DeKalb Stars since 2019 at Porter Sandford III Performing Arts and Community Center in Decatur.

Dancing with the DeKalb Stars is a fundraiser hosted by DeKalb County Solicitor-General Donna Coleman-Stribling to benefit local domestic violence organizations. The event includes a dance competition featuring members of DeKalb County’s legal, public safety, business, and civic communities paired with a local dance professional.

The contest was won by DeKalb Elementary School of the Arts Principal Bianca Hamilton – who was paired with Patrick Smith.

Entrepreneur and philanthropist CeWyon Chandler-Ward won second place with her dance partner Samuel Hills, and Peace Baptist Church Pastor Tyrone Barnette paired with his daughter Tallia Crosby took home third.

Judges for the event were Emmy-nominated performer and writer Stepp Stewart; owner and director of the Conservatory of Fine Arts Michelle Douglas; and DeKalb Juvenile Court Chief Judge Fatima Elamin.

“The DeKalb County community has repeatedly shown up in great numbers to support the fight to end domestic violence,” said Coleman-Stribling. “Every year our goal is to exceed what we accomplished in previous years.”

Coleman-Stribling said all proceeds generated through ticket sales, sponsorships, and fundraising benefit the International Women’s House and the Women’s Resource Center to End Domestic Violence. For more information about these nonprofit organizations, visit: www.internationalwomenshouse.org and www.wrcdv.org.

The People’s Choice Award was also won by Barnette for raising the most money for the nonprofits involved in the event. A spokesperson for the solicitor general’s office said fundraising numbers were not known at press time.

At the event, county officials also hosted a resource expo for 30 minutes before dancing began.

The main feature of the event was dancing, with a heavily involved audience, but Coleman-Stribling and her staff took several opportunities to remind the crowd about their cause.

“Your support for these two amazing organizations is not taken for granted so we’ve worked hard to make sure that we show you that,” said Coleman-Stribling. “We chose to hold Dancing with the DeKalb Stars during National Crime Victims Awareness Week or as we like to call it: Survivor’s Week. Everyone deserves to feel safe in their home and with their loved ones. However, we know that this is unfortunately not a reality for some people.”

Before the event, Coleman-Stribling also talked about the importance of the #NotInMyDeKalb program – which she created to address domestic violence and educate the county about it.

“DeKalb County Commissioner Mereda Davis Johnson noticed that there was a need to dedicate more of our resources and funding to rally our communities to interrupt the cycle,” said Coleman-Stribling. “With additional funding, we were able to assign a victim advocate in the south precinct and the east precinct. These advocates provide assistance and resources to domestic violence victims on the misdemeanor level. We’ve also assigned investigators.”

 

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