United Way’s DWTS Season 10 raises $257k for local partners

Published: Sep. 25, 2023 at 5:27 PM EDT
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BECKLEY, W.Va. (WVVA) - Friday was a night of glitz and glamour for the contestants of the United Way of Southern West Virginia’s annual Dancing With the Stars competition.

Six months of hard work, both on the dance floor and in the community, was put to the test throughout the evening for the 12 contestants of this year’s season. Since the summer, these six couples worked on their choreography, while hosting numerous fundraising events.

And it paid off.

According to Trena Dacal, Executive Director of UWSWV, Season 10 was the most successful to date, with more than $257,000 raised.

“So two teams breaking the former fundraising records and the entire cast breaking the former cast record was just amazing this year,” Dacal shared.

Raleigh County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Morgan Spolarich and Jan Care Ambulance Director of Human Resources Brent Osborne were one of the two teams to break the former team record. In fact, they raised more than $82,000, the most in Dancing With the Stars history.

“We definitely exceeded our expectations as far as the fundraising,” Osborne explained. “We obviously had a goal set in mind, and that goal was to potentially break the record but to break the record by $20,000 is pretty significant, so that was awesome.”

The couple says their performance honoring music icons, which landed them first place for People’s Choice and second place for Judges’ Choice, was one they’ll never forget, but add that they believe the experience of helping their community is what will stay with them for years to come.

“We had so much support,” Spolarich told WVVA. “All of our fundraisers were basically sold out, and we couldn’t thank this community enough for being able to support us, which in turn led us to support United Way,”

As for that money, Dacal says it will all be put to good use and stay close to home.

“Everything that’s raised here locally, especially from Dancing With the Stars and then from Wonderland of Trees and other fundraisers, stays local in southern West Virginia, and those funds primarily go to fund our partner agencies that we approve in the fall.”

While those new partner agencies won’t be announced for a few weeks, Dacal says they all uphold the United Way’s mission of improving health, education and income stability in southern West Virginia.

The money raised during the Dancing With the Stars campaign will be added to the United Way’s 2023/2024 fundraising goal, which has been set at $850,000.