Ten metro celebrities and their professional partners will cut a rug for children who can’t in a Saturday charity dance competition.
Now in its sixth year, the Dancing for a Miracle Gala takes the lead as the Children’s Miracle Network’s largest donation event, said Evelyn Bollenbach, communications director for Children’s Hospital Foundation. Last year’s event raised more than $190,000 to care for the 160,000-plus young patients in Oklahoma, according to Bollenbach.
The gala raises funds through a Dancing with the Stars approach by having attendees and online visitors vote for and pledge money to their favorite competing couple.Each competitor has an online campaign at okchf.com, which visitors can donate to until the big winner is crowned Saturday.
“We use local people who have a vested interest in the Children’s Hospital and the fact that all that money they raise goes to children, and it all stays in Oklahoma — what could you not like about that?” Bollenbach said.
Carol Hefner, a local philanthropist and motivational speaker, became vested in the Children’s Hospital nearly 20 years ago when her daughter was a patient for several months.
“Due to that experience, my husband and I became involved with Children’s and even founded the Aliya Hefner Visiting Fellowship,” she said.
Hefner has remained involved as a member of the board of advocates and a Children’s Starlight Ball committee member. But with no formal dance training, she has never before taken to the dance floor on behalf of the cause.
“This is like a freakin’ production, and people are going to stare at you,” Hefner said. “You feel a little judged; I can’t deny that. But I kept thinking ... if I can help the kids and I have to be up there and maybe embarrass myself for a minute and a half, I’ll do it.”
She will be doing the samba with her partner, David Hyer. And if this competition didn’t already resemble the long-running TV dance show, Hefner will be wearing an outfit created by Randall Designs, the costume provider for Dancing with the Stars.
“The [dress] I was going to wear was one of Kelly Osborne’s after she lost all of her weight, but it was too tiny for me,” Hefner said.
Her online campaign has been open for about two months. Hefner’s goal is $10,000, and she hopes her silent auction items — a sunset helicopter ride and a safari adventure — will help her reach it.
The dancing competition begins at 8 p.m., and donations for the dancers will be accepted in-person and online until the winner is announced.