What promises to be the party of the year will begin with a pre-event reception at Velo Vineyard and the contest itself begins when the curtain opens at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 17, 2012 at the historic GEM Theatre.
Benefiting both United Way of Gordon County and Friends of the GEM, all eight dance teams are scrambling to perfect their routines as the competition heats toward a full boil.
Helen Jones and Scott Fletcher are the first duo on the program bill, opening the contest with “Mrs. Jones” before sliding into their very own “Boogie Shoes” and setting the tone for an evening of friendly competition. Neither of them has danced competitively, but both enjoy social dancing.
Jones is the widow of local attorney Howard Jones who she was married to for thirty-four years before his death. Since then, Jones has worked tirelessly to raise funds for a facility at Gordon Hospital, which will provide radiation therapy to cancer patients.
Jones is a member of the Board of Counselors of the Oxford College at Emory University. She belongs to St. Clements Catholic Church and has three sons: Giles, married to Stephanie; Jason, married to Jodi; and Elliott, married to Julie. She has seven grandchildren.
Fletcher is an Executive at Textile Management Associates, a former Executive Vice-President of Mohawk Industries and the founder/original owner of American Weavers.
With his background in the carpet industry, he should be fully qualified to cut a rug. He has been married to Amy Beck Fletcher for twenty-one years and they have two sons: 13-year-old Beck and 10-year-old Matt.
A member of First Baptist Church of Calhoun, Fletcher coaches youth football and is a board member for the Calhoun Recreation Department. He is involved in a variety of civic and community organizations.
Dr. Michele Taylor and Jim Lay will follow Jones and Fletcher as they dance to an American standard, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B”. Like most of the sixteen contestants, Taylor and Lay have no formal dance training, but both love dancing. Each is pleased to be partnered with a fellow educator and Calhoun High School graduate.
Taylor is the Superintendent of Calhoun City Schools, a member of Trinity Baptist Church, vice-chairman of the Gordon County Chamber of Commerce Leadership Committee and a member of many local organizations.
She was voted Teacher of the Year in 1996 and Gordon County’s Young Careerist in 1997. She also serves on Georgia’s Leadership Institute Board of Directors. Married to her high school sweetheart for 15 years, she and husband Joe Taylor have two children: Joseph and Anna.
A lifetime bachelor, Lay is a member of the Gordon County Historical Society and the Retired Teachers Association. He works as a volunteer for both Gordon Hospital and the Gordon County Chamber of Commerce.
He belongs to First Baptist Church of Calhoun, where he has been a choir member for many years. Lay jokes that as the oldest dance contestant, he is the only one of the sixteen dancers who actually can remember when their dance song was released in 1941.
Jones, Fletcher, Taylor and Lay are dancing to raise funds for two organizations they all four consider important to Gordon County.
Those wishing to support the teams individually or the event in general may offer their contributions online at the United Way of Gordon County website (www.gordoncountyunitedway.org) or by presenting their donations at the United Way Office at the Calhoun Depot. All donations will be used for the benefit of Gordon County.