Nine teams to battle for gold ball at 14th annual Dancing with the Local Stars event on Feb. 2

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QUINCY — Dancing with the Local Stars returns for its 14th year on Friday, Feb. 2. 

The Ambiance, 5225 Koch’s Lane, will be the venue for this year’s event, which features a cast of nine dancing teams making their debuts on the dance floor. The theme of this year’s event is 80’s Flashback.

The evening will begin with a social hour from 6-7 p.m., followed by the dinner which will be served at 7 p.m. Presentation of the Humanitarian Award will be held at 7:15 p.m., with the dance competition beginning at 8 p.m.

The Dancing with Local Stars teams are:

  • Whitney Stanford and Mark Hespen 
  • Brenna Philips and Scott Phillips 
  • Amy Hendrian and Kasey Gerding 
  • Jim Molidor and Julie Phelan
  • T. and Connie Heberlein 
  • Emily Watkins and Norman Ellerbrock
  • Angie Gooding and Becky Koetters
  • Ray and Brianna Rivera 
  • Derek and Mary Byquist

Special guests April Hawkins (2019 champion and 2023 All-Star champion) and Andrea Heiden (2021 participant and 2023 winning team coach) also will perform.

The Schell family — Dustin, Holly, Emma, Sophia and Elijah — will be recognized by Cornerstone as its Humanitarians of the Year.

Grace Schell from injuries sustained in an ATV accident in October 2020. As the Schell family mourned the loss of Grace, they also began a movement and #belikegrace was born. What started as a small way for friends and family to remember Grace turned into a global movement. The Schell family later began the #BeLikeGrace Foundation.

The #belikegrace movement is simple:

  • Be the best version of yourself
  • Brighten someone’s day with a smile
  • Be generous
  • Tell someone you love them
  • Say hello to brighten someone’s day
  • Be kind
  • Spread compassion to the world

Holly Schell is the president of the foundation. For the past two and half years, the family has been spreading kindness in the form of donations, scholarships and community outreach. Areas of focus are:

  • Paying for funeral and medical expenses for families who have lost children
  • College and trade school scholarships for graduating seniors
  • Funding for school projects/events
  • Supporting local running programs (Grace was on the track team)
  • Monetary and emotional support to families in need

The values that the Schell family and foundation believe in align with Cornerstone’s mission of providing the skills, support and hope needed for effective, fulfilling lives. The Schells are helping families who have experienced tragedies like their own see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Tickets are $100 apiece. A cash bar will be available. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling 217-222-8254. 

The event benefits Cornerstone: Foundations for Families, a nonprofit mental health counseling agency.

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