Here at Chez Shumway, we’ve got a little extra spring in our step and won’t sit still until we hit the floor on Saturday night at Moseley’s. I find myself quick-stepping as I vacuum, I’ve caught Andy twirling while he cooks dinner and even the cat seems to sashay when he walks. At our house, we’re gearing up for .
If you’ve never been to this event, you’ve missed out. Perhaps one of the biggest fundraisers in town (and certainly the most fun), Dancing with the Dedham Stars is the brainchild of the Dedham Educational Partnership’s director, Dimitria Sullivan.
The committee picks six average Dedhamites to train for 10 weeks with a professional dancer and develop a routine to perform in front of a sellout crowd at Moseley’s on the Charles. While the dancers all compete to win the judges’ vote for the best dance, the popular vote winner is the one who raises the most money for the DEP.
Brilliant, isn’t it?
This year, my husband Andy was picked to be one of the six stars and I’m pretty sure that I was more excited than he was. You see, we helped fund-raise for his and, $3,800 later, saw how fun it was to be a part of this night. We immediately began planning how we would raise millions (I tend to aim high) as he headed off to learn how to shake his money-maker for over 900 of Dedham’s finest.
We began with a “mockumentary” titled “The D! True Hollywood Story of Andy Shumway: Tiny Dancer.” Luckily, Andy was willing to poke fun at himself and agreed to go along with my wacky idea (either that or he sensed that I wasn’t going to back down and chose the path of least resistance).
Close friends and family immediately joined the cast of this little cinematic masterpiece to play spurned dance partners, bitter ex-contestants or even themselves. The kids also joined in, giving Meryl Streep-like performances as the poor, neglected children of their Superstar Dancing Dad. The video was a great kickoff to his fund-raising season, and we have one more in the works that will be released this week.
We followed up by hosting a party at Chez Shumway where friends, neighbors, coworkers and even a few other “Stars” enjoyed pizza and cocktails. The kids helped set up and made sure that our donation bucket was situated prominently on the kitchen island for all to see. We visited some of our favorite Dedham haunts to see if they would “Support the Shum” and were floored by the generosity in this town.
Café Fresh Bagel, Hope McDermott RE, Dedham House of Pizza, Maribu, The Blue Bunny, Deli After Dark, Dedham Gas and Service… the list goes on. While I’m hoping that they donated because it’s a good cause rather than the fact that I paraded three little sets of big blue eyes while I asked, we’re happy to count them as a part of Team Shummy!
And so, when we’ve hung up our dancing shoes and closed the books on our fund-raising efforts, we’ll be able to count this event as a true family affair. From practicing dance steps to helping out the cause and eventually cheering for Andy on Saturday, we’ve all played a part. The kids are learning that when you work together, get creative and even take a risk, you can accomplish great things.
Plus, now we can all do a mean Cha-Cha.