Participants in Lourdes' Dancing With Our Stars are switching into high gear as the March event draws closer.
The yearly benefit for the American Cancer Society has already raised about $72,000 through sales of sponsorship tables, and coordinator Rita Bailey said participants hope to keep fundraising efforts going strong for the next three months.
"There are some smaller relays in the country that don't even make that much," Bailey said, noting that the fundraiser now ranks as the No. 1 Relay for Life event in Kentucky and the No. 3 event worldwide.
"We'd love to move up," she said.
Each of the 20 participants in Dancing With Our Stars is responsible for his or her own fundraising. At the end of the evening, the three individuals who raised the most money, as well as the top three dancers, will be honored, Bailey said.
This year's female dancers are Angie Sanders, Andrea Moore, Carol Gault, Cindy Hutson, Barbara Bowers, Karen Falder, Laura Emerson, Rachael King, Trudy Wyatt, and Dedra Turney.
The 10 men who will take to the dance floor are Chuck Sexton, Dean Owen, Griffin Bicking, Chad Lewis, Josh White, Dale Hanson, Matt Church, Matt Sullivan, Luke Ross and Cletus Murphy.
The public can donate to the event in several ways. A donation of $25 or more allows people to honor survivors of cancer, or the memories of those who have succumbed to the disease, in the Lourdes' Dancing With Our Stars program, Bailey said.
The same amount can be donated to wish an individual dancer good luck with the show.
For $200, a full-page acknowledgment of a donor will be printed in the program; $150 earns a half-page acknowledgment, while $100 earns a business card acknowledgment, Bailey said. Donors may contact individual dancers to make their donations and ensure their dancer receives credit for the funds, she added.
A silent auction will also open online a week before the March 22 event, allowing people who aren't able to spend the evening at Harrah's Metropolis Hotel and Casino the opportunity to participate, Bailey said.
Tickets to Dancing With Our Stars may be purchased by contacting a dancer. Dancers' names and biographies will soon be posted online at www.acsdwos.org. Only about 150 tickets remain, Bailey added.
Contact Laurel Black, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8641, or follow @LaurelFBlack on Twitter.