Dancing Stars 2017 Raised $143,000 for Healthy Start Coalition

Overall Winners - Dancing Star Dr. Brian Moriarty and dancing instructor Holly Perle

Local celebrities put their best foot forward to the beat of the tango, cha-cha and more on September 23 at the Lyric Theatre to benefit Martin County Healthy Start Coalition.
This year over $143,000 was raised bringing the lifetime total to $772,788.87 –! These funds support the mission to ensure that babies born in Martin County are healthy babies. Thanks to their efforts, Martin County now ranks in the top percentile of healthy babies born in Florida.

Jean Laws-Scott, Dancing Star with Instructor Greg Delekta

It’s a cause that is near and dear to many generous and talented men and women in our community. Star dancers this year were: Randy Pennington with instructor Megan Acosta performing the Quick Step; Rosi Shepard with instructor Craig Calvin dancing the Cha-Cha; John Gonzalez with instructor Marianella Tobar dancing the Argentine Tango/Rumba; Misty Moody and Bob Murray, instructor, doing the Argentine Tango; Dr. Brian Moriarty with instructor Holly Perle presenting the Rumba; Liz Bishop and instructor Armando Vega Perez doing the Cha-Cha; Jean Laws-Scott and instructor Greg Delekta performing the Jive; and Kirk Wilstermann with instructor Faith Jacobson doing the Hustle.

Dancing Star KIrk Wilstermann is also known for his cycling skills which he incorporated into his entrance.

The sold-out audience cheered and clapped enthusiastically for every performer and stuffed the dancers boxes with cash during intermission, hoping to push their favorite star to the top. Judges Charles Jones, Vickie Toraya and Valerie Boatman, all professional dancers themselves, had plenty of positive comments for each of the contestants who had spent their summer mastering ballroom dancing and cajoling donations.

Dr. Brian Moriarty was the Overall Winner with the best combined dance score and fundraising with nearly $30,000 in donations. Rosi Shepard was the Runner-up Fundraiser raising over $23,000 in this spirited competition that recruits a cast of hardworking heroes every year. Jean Laws-Scott received three perfect scores of 10 from the judges and was crowned Highest Dance Score for her efforts.

Lisa Holland, Event Chair, with Dancing Star Kirk Wilstermann, Helen Martin, Dewey Vinaya and Shaun Kelly.

Lisa Holland, Event Chair, Dancing Star Kirk Wilstermann, Helen Martin, Dewey Vinaya and Shaun Kelly

Event Chair, Lisa Holland from Team Holland and Aubrey Campbell, Manager of Operations for Healthy Start serve as support to the cast and pull all of the details together. A super team of volunteers including Shaun Kelly, Kathleen Snore and Lisa Kieffer were part of the success. Show producers Jennifer and Peter Jones, and Missy Weigel, stage manager helped to produce a professional, lively show that kept the audience engaged. Allan Gallo of Mainevent TV provided live streaming of the event for video.

Samantha Suffich, the new Executive Director of Healthy Start was overjoyed with her first experience at the event. “ We have such a great team of staff and volunteers in place to make this the success it is. We couldn’t provide the quality and scope of services without the success of this special event. I am truly honored to be a part of this organization.”

Martin County Healthy Start Coalition Executive Director Samantha Suffich, Event Chair and Healthy Start Manager of Operations Aubrey Campbell, with Teena White, President of the Board of Directors of Martin County Healthy Start Coalition

Martin County Healthy Start Coalition Executive Director Samantha Suffich, Event Chair and Healthy Start staff member Aubrey Campbell and Teena White, President of the Board of Directors of Martin County Healthy Start Coalition

Knight and Samantha Suffich, Healthy Start Executive Director, with their daughter Emery with Congressman Brian Mast and his wife, Brianna.


(L to R) : The 2017 Stars and Instructors: Craig Calvin and Rosi Shepard; Bob Murray and Misti Moody; Greg Delekta and Jean Laws-Scott; Holly Perle and Dr. Brian Moriarty; Randy Pennington and Megan Acosta; Faith Jacobson and Kirk Wilstermann; Marianella Tobar and John Gonzalez; Liz Bishop and Armando Vega Perez


Dancing Star John Gonzalez with Instructor Marianella Tobar

Sponsors provide critical support to the mission. Top level sponsors were GEICO and HealthSouth. Swing level stars were; CenterState Bank; David Brudy; Florida Chiropractic Society; Loving Chiropractic of Stuart; Martin Health Foundation; Martin Health System; Peter Henry Grien; Re/Max of Stuart and Stuart Sunrise Rotary Club.


Dancing Star Liz Bishop and Instructor Armando Vega Perez

Mambo supporters included: Abundant Life Birthing Center; Angela Fitanista; Day Medical Center; Molly’s House; Paul J. Feinsinger CPA, CFP; Physicians to Women; Pineapple Place/ John and Laura Leighton; Scott Berry; Svetlana Nemeroff; Tobey and Laura Williams; Waste Management; and Wildes Builders LLC.

The mission of Martin County Healthy Start Coalition is to ensure that every Martin County baby is born healthy. Programs include: Healthy Start Screening; Care Coordination; Momcare; Prenatal Outreach Center; Childbirth and Pregnancy Education; Beds 4 Babies; and Inter-Conception Education. For more information about Healthy Start, please visit their website at www.mchealthystart.org


Dancing Star Rosi Shepard with Instructor Craig Calvin


Dancing Star Misty Moody and Instructor Bob Murray

Click here for more photos

Dancing Stars 2016 Reach New Fundraising Success

On September 24, Martin County Healthy Start Coalition’s Dancing with the Martin Stars 2016 was held at The Lyric Theatre to a sold-out audience. This popular annual fundraiser has become a much-anticipated evening where amateur dancers show off their dancing finesse after intense training with dance professionals. It’s all about volunteering to dance, train and fundraise for this worthy non-profit that offers support and education to pregnant women and infants free of charge, regardless of income.

Lisa Holland, owner of Team Holland, was a contestant herself in the very first year of DWMS. Now she works with Healthy Start to coordinate the event alongside staff member Aubrey Campbell.


Libby Flippo and Bob Murray set a new fundraising record with a total raised of $38,880. They were named Grand Champions for their combined dancing scores and fundraising. The fundraising runner-ups were Julia Sansevere and Eliott Acosta with a total of $37,838. The grand total raised was a whopping $166,126.78.

Three couples were given perfect dance scores for their impressive performances: Helen Martin and Travis Stancil; Shaun Kelly and Craig Galvin; and Jeff Teach and Holly Perle.

Congratulations to all!

Dancing with Martin Stars

• Casey Cass – President of CASCO Tools, Inc.
• Libby Flippo – Vice President & Chief of Nursing Officer at Martin Health System
• Shaun Kelly – Owner of Perfectly Legal Solutions, LLC
• Andrea Levy –Owner of Lotus Loft
• Helen Martin – President/Owner of Stretch Zone Treasure Coast
• Troy McDonald –City of Stuart Commissioner
• Julia Sansevere – Realtor for Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
• Jeff Teach – President of Teach Wealth Management, Inc.
• Dewey Vinaya – Military Veteran