01/30/12 The Fourth Annual “Dancing with the Stars” event held at the Swan Lake Resort on Saturday night raised over $70,000 to be used for services at the Marshall County Neighborhood Center and the Five Star Program at Lincoln Junior High in Plymouth. The total was some $5,000 over last year’s total. Attendance was also up from 360 in 2011 to over 400 this year.

Tim and Laura Martin were named the winners at the end of the night. The winner is chosen by the number of votes they receive from those who pay to vote.  “Team Martin”, as they were billed, raised over $10,000. Laura Martin said, “We wanted to give back to the community.”  They had practiced for over 100 hours to perfect their American Tango number. Tim Martin said, “It was all worthwhile.” The Martin’s said they made up flyers and distributed to friends, customers of their business (Tim Martin Buick GMC in Plymouth and Tim Martin Ford in Bremen) along with vendors. Laura said, “We spent a lot of time on the phone too.”

Speaking on behalf of the Marshall County Neighborhood Center Board was Chad Barden. Barden said, “The need in our community is as deep as it is wide.” According to Barden, one out of every ten people in the county went to the Neighborhood Center for help.” Neighborhood Center Director Sara Hill shared the story of just one of those helped.

Area personalities teamed up with experienced dancers and instructors to perform in front of the audience. Dancers included Tim  and Laura Martin; James Drzewiecki and Mandy Chalk; Chris Myers and Angela Blancovargas; and Jeannette Teall and Patrick Pendexter.

Other dancers included: Shana Greenlee and Patrick Pendexter; Beth Rutherford and Ed Scherer-Berry; Laurie and Mark Sutter; Linda Yoder and Patrick Pendexter, and Francis Ellert and Mewsette Cartwright.

Helping to make the vent a success were Emcees Dan and Charlotte Tyree and Five Star Director Casey Martin.

Helping to raise the total amount of funds raised for the Neighborhood Center was a live auction conducted by auctioneer Dave Gobel.  There were about a dozen packages of donated items from area businesses that raised a total of $8,150.

Carol Anders Correspondent and Kathy Bottorff