For Nancy See, May 4 will be a very special night for numerous reasons.
Not only is the Sandy Springs resident a member of one of the dance teams competing for a trophy in the Alzheimer’s Association’s Dancing Stars of Atlanta fundraiser at the Cobb Galleria Centre, but one member of the audience also makes it extra special.
Watching her perform will be See’s family, including her 66-year-old brother, who has been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s.
“It is because of my brother and this being a fundraiser for the Georgia chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association that I am very passionate about this organization and what the funds we raise will be used for,” she said.
In fact, See is the leading participant in the dance contest in the fundraising category so far. She has raised more than $115,000 toward her goal of $130,000 for the association, which has an overall goal of raising $1 million this year.
Modeled after the popular TV dance competition shows, Dancing Stars pairs 12 local leaders with professional dancers to raise money by gaining votes in the one-night gala dance competition.
See, the senior vice president and one of the founding partners of Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty, is managing broker of its Buckhead office. She will be performing a cha-cha dance routine for the event.
“My professional dance partner, Sorin Obreja, and I have been practicing twice a week for the last four months on our routine, so taking part in the dance contest is a huge commitment for the dancers, in addition to keeping our full-time jobs,” she said.
The event raises money for the care of existing patients, support and research. Since 2009, it has raised more than $5 million.
In addition to See, this year’s Dancing Stars of Atlanta local celebrity dancers participating include Sarah Chatel, Lisa Curles, Andrew Feinberg, Peter Hartman, Kimberly Keys, Susan McCaffrey, Joshua Neal, Scarlett Pressley-Brown, Dennis White, Jason Wieloch and Mark Williamson.
The event will be co-hosted by Nancy Senner, World 9-Dance champion and professional dance teacher, and Cory Thompson, director of program development at Georgia Piedmont Technical College and former TV anchor. It will be judged by Rainer Rics, Kristina Knipp and Tamsyn Devilliers.
Dan Britt, the chapter’s director of development, participated in Dancing Stars in 2015. He said the attendance at this event has grown each year, causing organizers to move it to larger ballrooms.
“Last year we sold out, and this year we already have more than a thousand people attending and we are on track to (sell out again) this year,” he said. “In addition to the research, treatment and, hopefully, a cure for this disease, the funds go to provide support not only for Alzheimer’s patients but the families and caregivers who provide support in patient’s homes.”
Britt said this event is unlike other galas in that, in addition to the couple working together for months to perfect their routines, they, at the same time, have a goal of raising their portion of the chapter’s financial goal.
“If one puts the dancing and fundraising aside, what these couples are doing is drawing awareness to the mission of increasing awareness regarding Alzheimer’s,” Britt said. “You would be hard-pressed to meet anyone who does not know of someone in their family or in the families of their friends who is not dealing with this disease, as Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.”
According to a news release about the event, Alzheimer’s deaths in Georgia increased by 245 percent from 2000 to 2017.