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The game's afoot

Staff Writer | January 8, 2024 1:20 AM

MOSES LAKE — The Central Basin Community Concert Association will be hosting its first-ever fundraiser, called Dancing with the Moses Lake Stars, on Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. at Big Bend Community College’s Wallenstien Theater. 

Association board member Carla McKean spoke about how the event came about.

“We thought, rather than doing a dinner with a silent auction like most groups do, we would try something new, and this was proposed to us – we are in affiliation with other community concerts around the state,” McKean said. “This group has been doing this for the last 10 years in The Dalles area.”

McKean referred to the partial organizers of the event, the Utah Dance Company, who will be sending six professional dancers to partner with the Moses Lake contestants for their performances. 

“They come and they bring six professional dancers, three female, three male…and they will meet our six dancers. We have recruited six community people who have agreed to join us in this venture,” McKean said. “They will meet their partner and then they'll start learning some dance steps throughout the week with this dance partner. Friday (Jan. 19), we'll have a dress rehearsal with costumes and then Friday night we'll have the performance.”

The Moses Lake stars consist of Faith Hemmerling, Kimberly Ries Ashley, Shannon Hintz, Barry Sterner, Bryce Humpherys and Chuck Yarbro Jr., according to the CBCCA website. The event will be judged by Moses Lake community members Dale Roth, Danielle Boss and Julie Johnson. The proceeds of the event will go toward CBCCA’s 2024 to 2025 concert series.

“Prior to COVID, we used to be membership only, and that seemed to work to cover the expense of bringing four concerts a year, but since COVID, we were without concerts for a year, first off, and then it's been slow getting back and getting people out to go to concerts, so our membership is down,” McKean said. “We've tried to modernize and we now sell tickets ahead of time online, we sell tickets at the door. So we've changed that, but this is the first time we've ever done a fundraiser.”

McKean said booking live shows and artists has become more expensive recently, requiring CBCCA to look for new funding opportunities.

“We'd like this to become an annual event,” she said. “I've already got people volunteering to dance next year. I thought it would be like pulling teeth to get people to do this, but everybody's gotten really excited about it and been very wonderful about participating, saying it sounds like something fun and new to bring to the community.”

Purchased tickets count as one vote for one of the dancers, but community members can donate ahead of time to a specific dancer to increase their votes.

“We're looking for sponsors or people to donate to the individual dancers. If they can raise $1,000, it gives them 10 votes,” McKean said. “So far, only one dancer has raised $1,000, and that's Kim Ries Ashley. She starts ten votes ahead of everybody else unless people can support their favorite dancer and get online and actually donate money towards that dancer.”

McKean outlined how the Jan. 19 event will play out. 

“During the contest, when people arrive … they have to pick up their ticket and they’ll turn it in for a vote, and then all six dancers will perform. It'll be in the same format as the TV show, where we do an interview up on the big screen with the dancer and their audience partner, and then they do their dance and then the judges give their score,” McKean said. “So we will watch all six performers dance, then there'll be an intermission, during which time everybody goes and votes for their favorite dancer. Then if they want us to stack that ballot box for a particular dancer, they can buy more votes for $5 a vote. After the intermission, while we're counting the votes, the professional dancers will actually put on a performance, and then we'll be announcing our winner.”

McKean detailed CBCCA’s goals for the event.

“There is a possibility of seating for over 500, so we would like to pack the seats. We’d like to see the whole community turn out for this new event,” McKean said. “We'd like to raise $10,000 … It may not all happen in the first year, with our different expenses, but we're building something new and we're learning as we go.”

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Tickets and Venue:

Wallenstien Theater at Big Bend Community College

6989 College Parkway NE, Moses Lake

Ages 12 and under: $1

Ages 13 to 19: $10

Ages 19 and older: $30

Gabriel Davis may be reached at Download the Columbia Basin Herald app on iOS and Android.

    The Dalles, Oregon, Realtor Dennis Morgan, left, dances with his pro partner in the 2022 Dancing with the Gorge Stars. The Columbia Basin’s own event, Dancing with the Moses Lake Stars, takes place Jan. 19.
 Courtesy photo/Mid-Columbia Community Concert Association 

    The exterior of Big Bend Community College’s Wallenstien Theater, where all of the Central Basin Community Concert Association’s concerts are held, including the Jan. 19 Dancing with the Moses Lake Stars event, a fundraiser for CBCC.
 Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald