Emmaus Sells Out ‘Stepping Out with the Valley Stars’

State Representative Diana DiZoglio rehearses for “Stepping Out with the Valley Stars.”

Peter Carbone trains for the event.

Peter Carbone trains for the event.

Tomorrow night six local “stars” will compete in a dance-off to benefit Emmaus, Inc., a local non-profit community housing agency.

Emmaus is hosting “Stepping Out with the Valley Stars” Saturday from 6:30 to 11 p.m. at the Merrimack Valley Golf Club in Methuen. The event is sold out and no more tickets are available.

The six local “stars” competing in this event for the title of “Dance Champion” are:

  • Rep. Diana DiZoglio, Massachusetts House of Representatives
  • Elaine Barker, Paper Potpourri
  • Tim Jordan, Jordan Financial and Insurance Services
  • Marsha Kazarosian, Kazarosian, Costello and O’Donnell LLP & President of the Massachusetts Bar Association
  • Charlie Tontar, Professor of Economics at Merrimack College & Newburyport City Councilor
  • Peter Carbone, EZ Way Cleaners

The dancers have been rehearsing their routines over the last two weeks under the direction of world renowned professional salsa dancer and Methuen resident Burju Perez. Perez will also serve as a dance partner and will perform with her husband, Victor Perez at Saturday’s event.

Burju Perez said she didn’t hesitate to help when Emmaus approached her to serve as the event’s creative director.

“I loved the work Emmaus is doing in the community and wanted to contribute,” said Perez. “Bringing everyone together for a dance event to support Emmaus’ work is exciting and a way that I can share my talents to benefit this great organization.”

Emmaus seeks the generosity of individual donors to help support its operating budget. For example, Emmaus’ overnight shelter, Mitch’s Place, opened during the day on 11 different occasions this past winter due to the extreme cold and snow, and it opened early an additional six times.

“Making sure those in need of shelter are safe and cared for during extreme weather conditions does put a strain on our operating budget,” said Emmaus Executive Director Jeanine Murphy, adding that the agency will do whatever it needs to ensure the well-being of its guests. “The cost for staying open these extra hours was approximately $6,800. That impacts our organization's overall budget.”

Gretchen Arntz, Emmaus’ chief development officer, said that events like Saturday’s gala helps defray unanticipated costs. She said she is delighted that the event is a sell-out and hopes those who come put on their dancing shoes and kick up their heels for a great cause!

To donate to Emmaus, please visit www.emmausinc.org and click on “Please Donate.”

For more information on Emmaus, please call Margot Regan, Events, Marketing and Communications Manager at (978) 241-3425 or visit www.emmausinc.org.

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