Ten amateurs and their mentors from The Dancing Feeling took to the polished floor of Rhodes on the Pawtuxet Thursday night for the 13th annual Dancing with the Stars of Mentoring. And teeing up the competition that has become the major fundraiser for Mentor RI was Channel 10’s Mario Hilario, who since being in the show, has orchestrated and performed in the opening number with Kathy St. Jean of the Dancing Feeling, the Total Convergence Dancers and the Dance Connection. Not only did Hilario step out on the floor, he was also co-host for the night with Heather Gerstein from Lite Rock 105 and interviewing the performers and soliciting comments from the judges, David Shapiro of the National Mentoring Partnership, Roxanna Herzog, a professional ballroom dancer and judge, and Pat Masters, former news anchor at WPRI and WJAR.
The event was the most successful yet for Mentor RI, with a net of $126,000. The funds couldn’t come at a more critical time, as the program was dealt a blow last year when, because of budget cutbacks, the Warwick School Committee eliminated its support. Nonetheless, as Mentor RI president and CEO Jo Ann Schofield acknowledged in program, the agency didn’t abandon the Warwick program and with widespread community support kept it running. (Warwick Beacon photos)