Cancer Alliance’s Inaugural Dance the Night Away Gala

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Cancer Alliance’s “Dance the Night Away Gala” presented by Jupiter Fred Astaire Dance Studio proved to be a huge success raising $300,000 for local cancer patients in need.  Two hundred guests attended the sold-out event at The Pelican Club in Jupiter Florida.  Chairs Lois Gackenheimer, Janet Levy and Gail Sermersheim were instrumental in raising funds for underprivileged families dealing with cancer while they are undergoing chemotherapy and/or radiation treatments.

Lois Gackenheimer, Janet Levy ,Gail Sermersheim, and Director Stanton F. Collemer.
Michael G. Reinert and Farley Rentschler.
Pamela O’Connor, Bruce Helander, Camilla Helander Sargent, and Gregory Welteroth.
Janet Levy, Cameron Neth, and Soula Rifkin.

The evening began with two of Cancer Alliance’s clients, Tirsa Vega and Alexis Membreno performing the Viennese Waltz and contemporary dance with Fred Astaire’s professional instructors.  Tirsa and Alexis were real crowd pleasers and stole the hearts of the audience as they danced flawlessly to their own musical compositions and vocals.

Contestant Lauri Welteroth and professional ballroom dancer Serge Alieve.
Tirsa Vega and Danilo Rakita.

Ten local non-professional ballroom dancers took private dance lessons from the Jupiter Fred Astaire Studios to prepare for the competition and compete for Cancer Alliance’s 2021 Top Female and Male Dancer.

A variety of awards from different categories were presented during the evening.  The winners were Mikolaj Bauer for Most Emotional; Scott Diament received Most Charismatic; Andrea Hass, Most Elegant; Janet Habel, Most Graceful; Asif Haque, Most Debonair; Ginella Ruffa, Most Energetic; Bruce Helander, Most Entertaining; Paula Newmark, Most Expressive; Farley Rentschler, Most Sensual; and Lauri Welteroth for Most Inspiring.

Karla Boldirev and Mikolaj Bauer.
Karla Boldirev and Bruce Helander.
Farley Rentschler and Vitalii Tozik.

The dancers were judged by three Celebrity Judges: Tony Dovolani, professional dancer from the acclaimed TV show Dancing with the Stars, Andrew Kato Producing Artistic Director/Chief Executive at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre and actress and producer, Suzanne Niedland.  All the dancers received high comments and praises from the judges.  Tony Dovolani declared the difficult routine of Lauri Welteroth a “12 out of 10” and asked, “Where were you during my years with Dancing with the Stars?”

Judges Andrew Kato, Suzanne Niedland and Tony-Dovolani.

Bruce Helander walked away with the Top Male Dancer and Lauri Welteroth received the Top Female Dancer.  Lauri also received the 2021 People’s Choice Award which was selected by the audience who participated by donating $25 per vote for their favorite dancer.

The Professional Ballroom Dancers:  Serge Aliev, owner of the studio, Karla Boldirev, Danilo Rakita and Vitalii Tozik received a huge round of applause and standing ovation for their incredible showmanship and making each of the dancers look like they have been dancing for decades.

Christine and Stephen Schwarzman.
Janet and Mark Levy.

Sponsors of the event included:  Presenting Sponsor:  Academy for Nursing and Health Occupations, Awards Sponsors:  Lois Gackenheimer & Ray Richards and Janet & Mark Levy; Ballroom Sponsor:  Frances Yu; Instructor Sponsors:  Rebecca Doane, Virginia and John Gildea, Elaine Madonna David Sarama, Gail Sermersheim; Dance Sponsors:  Roy Cacciaguida M.D., Lenore Galasso, Hass Plastic Surgery, Sandra and Gregory Kriser as well as Gail Worth and Frank Orenstein.  Corporate Sponsor is PNC Wealth Management.

Doug Evans, Etonella Christlieb and Mikolaj Bauer.

The Cancer Alliance of Help & Hope, Inc., based in Palm Beach, Florida, is a charitable organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of local children, women and men and their families, who are touched by cancer, by providing need-based financial assistance, information resources and access to services and support groups in our community.  CAHH seeks to provide respite to those receiving a devastating cancer diagnosis. As a 501(C)(3) formed in 2003, the organization has helped thousands of cancer patients and their families who live and/or receive treatment in Palm Beach County and dispersed over $4.5 million. Cancer Alliance of Help & Hope focuses on assisting patients with their ordinary living expenses such as rent and mortgage, utilities, auto and health insurance, car payments, food and other basic necessities. 

For more information, please visit or call: 561-748-7227.

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