Posted by: joshjasper | May 5, 2014

A Fresh Take

The Dubuque Chamber of Commerce’s “Dancing with the Stars Dubuque Style” event this past weekend was absolutely incredible.  It was so nice being there as a spectator and not as dancer!  Each of the dancers had a chance to speak about the experience, the training, and how they were feeling in the moment after they completed their dance.  You could feel the sense of accomplishment and relief rolling off of them.  I remember being in that position last year and being so thankful that it was done.  So much time and energy was spent on practicing that 3 minute dance.  (3 longest minutes of my life)  It was emotionally and physically exhausting.

$270,000 was raised by the dancers this year for local non-profit organizations.  More than a quarter of a million dollars.  In 5 short years, this event has raised $720,000 for charities!  That is an enormous amount of money.  On behalf of the entire community, thank you all.

dancing with the stars 2014


But that’s really not the best part of this event.  Sure, the $70,000 that Brendan Welsh raised for Honor Flight is going to accomplish amazing things for the veterans looking to travel to Washington DC.  No question.  But there’s more to this story.  The impact that this event is even greater.

500 people filled the 5 Flags Center Saturday night not only to be entertained, but to also be educated.  They learned about the amazing missions of Two by Two Education, the Honor Flight, St. Stephen’s Food Bank, and many more.  When Jeff Vogler from Fresh Take took the microphone and spoke about why he was there and how much supporting the food bank meant to him, he nailed it.  That’s the real impact Dancing with the Stars makes in our community.  A community leader that is not employed by the food bank, speaking on their behalf, talking about how “no one should ever be hungry in our community,” is powerful stuff.  Rick Mihm from the Rescue Mission or Tom Johnson from the Hope House can’t deliver that message.  They are employed by their respective organizations.  In a sense, they are paid to care about people who may go hungry.  Jeff, on the other hand, is not.  He and his coach, Laci Hoffmann from Farrell’s Extreme Bodyshaping, (FXB) are volunteers.  They committed countless hours over the last 5 months to prepare and to best advocate on behalf of St. Stephen’s.

Everyone wins with this very unique and innovative event.  The casseroles are great at Fresh Take, but because I have seen firsthand Jeff’s passion for our community, the lasagna and pizza casseroles are going to be a lot more frequent in the Jasper household!  And it’s for the same reason I don’t hesitate for a second when it comes to renewing my membership at FXB.  They both get it.  They are doing so much more than creating amazing food and a workout experience, and I want to be a part of it.






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