Hoofers helping 

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.

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Molly Evans

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