'Dancing' for a new X-ray machine
CRAIG ATWOOD and Holly Kyle practice for "Dancing With Our Stars," set for Sunday, Sept. 18.
Bonnie Durrance/Special to the Index-Tribune
After months of training, the eight couples dancing at Sonoma Valley Hospital Foundation's "Fall Frolic: Dancing With Our Stars" fundraiser on Sunday, Sept. 18, are nearly ready for the big night.
With the recent addition of Rhona Slagle to the judging panel, the 16 dancers will now be performing under the watchful eye of an experienced professional dancer and judge.
Slagle is a dual fellow of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing of London. With her dance partner, Roy Hinton, she trained and competed throughout the U.S. and Europe representing the United States in world championships in Berlin (1966), Zurich (1968) and London's Royal Albert Hall several years in a row. When the dance team retired from professional competition in 1974, they were the undefeated West Coast champions. Slagle is also the founder of the Pick School of Ballroom Dancing in San Francisco.
Slagle will be joined at the judges table by returning judge Suzanne Brangham and newcomer Steve Page. Brangham's clever comments, exuberance and sense of humor delighted the crowd last year and her vivaciousness is sure to entertain again. Page, CEO of Infineon Raceway, is switching gears for this event and trading checkered flags, dipsticks and pit stops for sequined gowns, dips and footwork. With this diverse and dynamic team, the action at the judges' table promises to be just as entertaining as the performances on the dance floor.
The eight couples who will be performing for the judges' praise and the audience's votes are Michael Brown, M.D. and Elaina O'Malley; Sue Albano and Ed Dufault; Gayle Jenkins and Patrick Jude; Vinny Pacheco and Gabrielle von Stephens; David Pier and Phyllis Gurney; Denny Lane and Rhonda Guaraglia; Holly Kyle and Craig Atwood; and Rebecca Hengehold and Dennis Goss.
In addition to the dance competition, the event will also feature a buffet dinner, open bar, silent auction, dance lessons, live music by Richard Olsen Orchestra and a fund-a-need. Reigning champions, Julie Atwood and Ed Dufault, will also perform.
Proceeds from the event, including a fund-a-need, will help replace a 26-year-old X-ray system. One of the hospital's two X-ray machines was installed in 1985, and after nearly three decades, it has reached the end of its life. Funds raised at this event will be used to purchase a new, state-of-the-art digital X-ray machine and help ensure the hospital is able to continue offering this life-saving diagnostic service to the community.
"Fall Frolic: Dancing With Our Stars" kicks off at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 18, at the Sonoma Valley Veterans Memorial Building, 126 First St. W. Tickets are $200. For information or reservations, contact Harmony Plenty at 935-5070 or visit www.svh.com/foundationnews.