Stacia Wake and her partner, Mike Foncannon, danced their way to victory at the “Dance, Dream & Inspire” charity competition, helping raise more than $200,000 for a local charity that serves vulnerable children and their families.
The annual gala benefits Embrace Families, Central Florida’s nonprofit lead agency overseeing foster care and other services for childhood victims of abuse, neglect and abandonment.
This year’s competition took place on Feb. 1, at Hard Rock Live in Orlando. As the feature event, six local business leaders partnered with professional dancers to perform for the audience. The competitors showcased a range of styles from salsa, swing and tango to the jazzera “Lindy Hop.”
Wake, a community relations manager from Walt Disney World Resorts, teamed up with professional dancer Foncannon to dazzle the audience with a tango. They won the “Judges’ Choice” award for outstanding technical skill and creativity. Meanwhile, the audience vote for “Most Popular Couple” went to Jose Perez and Heather Fagan, deputy chief of staff for Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. The two raised more than $11,000 worth of spectator votes.
“All children deserve a safe, stable, loving home and a path to achieve their potential,” said Glen Casel, president and CEO of Embrace Families. “And that’s doubly true for children who have endured a childhood marred by abuse or neglect. Our annual Dance, Dream & Inspire brings the community together to enjoy a great evening with an even better result: helping to give our community’s most vulnerable a chance at healing and a brighter future.”
The event also featured dances from:
• Ryan Holmes, “Monsters in the Morning” host on Real Radio 104.1
• Samuel Aycoth, GuideWell (an affiliate of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida)
• Melissa Mott, Sunshine Health
• Karlene Cole-Palmer, Embrace Families
During the event, Embrace Families also presented its annual Inspiration Award to an individual or group who has made outstanding and selfless efforts to promote the welfare of Florida’s children.
The 2020 Inspiration Award went to Misty Miotto, manager of the Heart Gallery of Central Florida. The online gallery features the photos and biographies of children in foster care awaiting adoption.