By Carol Cain
By day Beth Chappell is the hard-charging president and CEO of Detroit Economic Club, but this Friday night she will be a dancing machine fighting to win the “Dancing With Your Local Stars” competition raising money for Focus:HOPE.
Chappell, who never had a dance lesson in her life, was good pals with the late Eleanor Josaitis, who started Focus:HOPE 40 plus years ago with the late Father William Cunningham.
Chappell had promised Josaitis on her death bed a year ago she would help the organization continues its work in the community. And she took those words to heart as she has been training with professional dancer Dwight Davis for weeks getting ready for her routine to help raise money for the organization in the process.
Janet Blair, of Tri-County Business Exchange, is putting on the annual dancing event.
Hundreds are expected to watch Chappell; Ashlee Baracy of WDIV; Blaine Fowler of WDVD, Frankie Darcell of WMXD, Jessica Starr of FOX 2; Jim Kiertzner, of WXYZ, Michael Patrick Shiels, syndicated radio host, and Rachel Adams, a model/actress, take to the stage with a professional dancer for a two minute routine.
Judging the competition will be Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel, Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano, and Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard, who will fill in for the recuperating Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson on the mend after a serious auto accident in August.
The county executives danced in the same competition two years ago.
I will be emceeing the event where hundreds are expected to be on hand to see the celebrities compete.
The event will also features a Professional Dance Showcase with Natalka Cap and James Valentino, 2012 Miss Michigan Angela Venditti, and the Ardan Academy of Irish Dance Troupe.
Blair has organized the annual event since 2010 and works closely with Cap.
Cap is a two time World & U.S. National Ballroom Dance Champion, United States Mambo Champion, a registered nurse and champion for healthy living to combat diabetes.
For tickets and information: www.dancingwithourlocalstars.com or 248-852-8077.
(Carol Cain is senior producer and host of CBS 62’s “Michigan Matters” airing 11:30 am Sundays on CBS 62. She writes about politics and business in Sinday’s Detroit Free Press. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org_)