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Dancing with the Relay Stars: Locals dance to raise cancer awareness

Dancers: The 2015 Relay Dancing Stars of Picayune.  Photo by Cassandra Favre

Dancers: The 2015 Relay Dancing Stars of Picayune.
Photo by Cassandra Favre


Last weekend, the men and women of Picayune put on their dancing shoes to raise money and awareness for cancer research.
The inaugural Dancing with the Relay Stars of Picayune was held Saturday evening at Southern Char Steakhouse.
This year, according to previous Item coverage, Picayune will celebrate 20 years of participation in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.
The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life is a movement that aims to remember the lost, celebrate those in the battle against cancer and eliminate the illness altogether, the American Cancer Society’s website states.
Carla Kyzar, with the American Cancer Society, said this was not only Picayune’s first dancing event, but the first in the state of Mississippi.
“I’m so excited about this event,” Kyzar said. “I believe it is something that will grow and grow each year.”
Mallory Hill, also with the American Cancer Society, would like to thank the volunteers for putting on the event.
The committee for the event included Relay for Life event lead Lisa Lee, Picayune Main Street Director Reba Beebe, Kyzar and Donna Perkins.
Ten couples shimmied and two-stepped for a chance to be crowned the winner.
Judges for the event included, Gerry Samples, Gail Mitchell, Bill Stegall and Roy Montalbano.
The masters of ceremony for the evening were Buddy McDonald and Steve McDonald.
The first set of dancers to tame the dance floor was David Hemeter and Susan Spiers. They were followed by Pearl River County Sheriff David Allison and Luann Watkins. Rounding out the first set, was Paul Breland and his partner Donna Perkins.
Faith Hill Cooper entertained the crowd with her vocal talents during intermissions.
Lynn Dupont and Brian Perkins began the second set. Keisha and Reggie Smith were up next, followed by Robin Montalbano and Andy Watkins. The last couple to dance in the second set was Father Jonathan Filkins and Donna Perkins.
The final set began with Ashley Breland and Brian Perkins. Pearl River County District V Supervisor Sandy Kane Smith and Donna Perkins performed next and Dusty Dearman and Pat Pearson concluded the evening’s dancing competition.
The winners of Saturday’s judges’ award were Sandy Kane Smith and Donna Perkins. David Hemeter and Susan Spiers walked away with the People’s Choice award.
Sunday, a matinee performance was held where Reggie and Kesha Smith took home the People’s Choice award, Beebe said.
According to Relay officials, the weekend’s events raised almost $10,000.
Picayune’s Relay for Life event will be held on May 9, 2015 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Jack Read Park. For more information contact Lee at 601-394-3363.