Dancing with the St. Louis Stars is back!


The most-anticipated fundraiser of the New Year is coming back! Centene Corporation is proud to present the ninth annual Dancing with the St. Louis Stars, a benefit for Independence Center. Culminating months of practice, St. Louis business leaders will light up the city in an entertaining dance competition on January 28 at the Ritz-Carlton. The gala will benefit Independence Center, a St. Louis nonprofit committed to restoring the lives of adults with severe and persistent mental illness. Dancing with the St. Louis Stars is known as the “fun” fundraiser for everything it does NOT offer. No long program, auction or endless tables of raffle prizes. Guests will indulge in an evening of energetic dancing, fabulous food, and unforgettable entertainment all in an effort to raise funds and bring awareness to mental illness and the services saving lives at Independence Center.

The 2017 St. Louis stars include Maureen Borkowski, chairman and president of Ameren Transmission Company; Jim Brennan, owner and president of McKelvey Homes; Ron Daugherty, president and chief executive officer of Daugherty Business Solutions; Mike Keller, recently-retired executive director of Independence Center, Marcela Manjarrez Hawn, senior vice president, chief communication officer for Centene Corporation; Bob Tomaso, St. Louis office managing partner at Husch Blackwell, and Sandra Van Trease, group president for BJC HealthCare. Each of these notable leaders have received recognition for their efforts in the realms of business and philanthropy. This year, Independence Center member and program participant Brittny Adams will represent the nearly 1,500 people with mental illness who seek recovery through Independence Center every year.

Dancers will campaign for votes (1 vote = $10) via the www.dancingwiththestlouisstars.org website and the couple that raises the most votes will be crowned Dance Champions! Independence Center will award Dance Champions (couple that raises the most votes), MVPs (couple that raises the most support combining votes, sponsorships, and tables), Judges’ Favorite and Crowd Favorite.

Celebrity judges include Todd Bastean, chief executive officer of Bunge North America and 2016 dance champion and MVP; Diane Sullivan, chief executive officer of Caleres; Penny Pennington, principal at Edward Jones and 2016 dancer; and Robin Wentworth, competitive ballroom dancer and 2016 dancer.

Sue McCollum, chairman and chief executive officer of Major Brands and 2014 dance champion is the Honorary Chair and Claire Kellett of KMOV News 4 is returning as emcee. Just Dancing Ballroom Dance Studio, Just Dancing West, Discover Ballroom, Convergence Dance & Body Center, and Majestic Dance Studio provide the instructors to partner with our star dancers.

St. Louis, get ready for another fabulous evening of dining and dancing the night away as our community leaders champion for mental illness!

Event sponsors include Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Bethesda Health Group, BJC HealthCare, Centene Corporation, Edward Jones, Emerson, Express Scripts, FLIP Services, Healthlink, Husch Blackwell, McKelvey Homes, Mercy, Missouri Baptist Medical Center, Video Views, Watlow, and Wm French Buyer’s Real Estate Services.

About Independence Center
Proceeds from Dancing with the St. Louis Stars allows Independence Center to continue the mission of restoring lives by providing a comprehensive system of high quality programs and services that assists adults in the St. Louis metropolitan area with serious and persistent mental illnesses to live and work in the community, independently and with dignity.

For more information, contact:
Jamie Clark, Director of Development
(314)880-5403 (office)