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Article Published September 15, 2016
Stars Announced for Raise the Roof’s 2016 Gala of Stars
Press release from Raise the Roof

Stars of the stage, a former town official, an artist, a photojournalist and business and community leaders are stepping onto the dance floor for Raise the Roof’s second annual Gala of Stars: Dancing for the Cause. The stars are community leaders passionate about making the world a better place by providing opportunities for families to own safe, affordable homes. Ballroom dance lessons have begun, choreography is unfolding, and these stars are competing with a special fundraising twist.

The 2016 stars include:

Carly Callahan and John Johmann

Rachael McNerney and

Alistair Sweeney

Joan and Fillmore McPherson

Vicki Newman and Paul Kuehn

Julie Ovian and Sean Fowler

Jennifer Russo and Tom Murphy

Maria and Chris Small

Kim and Jason Spanier

Bernadette Welsh and Philip Ross

Raise the Roof’s 2016 stars have been invited because of their leadership, heart, and commitment. Read the dancers’ bios and reasons for dancing for this cause at

The stars are learning choreographed ballroom routines during ten private lessons provided by Arthur Murray in Guilford, Raise the Roof’s event partner. The dancing stars will perform on Friday, Oct. 28 at Raise the Roof’s Gala of Stars: Dancing for the Cause at The WoodWinds of Branford. The stars are competing for “votes” (dollars=votes) and their dancing is raising funds for the building of the next Raise the Roof Habitat for Humanity house. The dancing couple that receives the most votes will win the grand-prize Shoreline Stars trophy. Online voting has begun and will stay open through the Oct. 28 gala performances. Donations/votes can be cast at

A group of celebrity judges will also present awards for the best performances of the night. In addition to the dance performances, gala guests will enjoy drinks, hors d’oeuvres, a three-course plated dinner, and time for their own dancing.