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Local stars heading to the ballroom

Callahan among contestants in April 13 dance competition

Published: Saturday, March 23, 2013 5:00 a.m. CDT

JOLIET, Ill. — Local celebrities, including Grun-dy County Coroner John Callahan, will compete for the mirror ball trophy during Dancing With Our Local Stars.

The competition, an annual fundraiser for Guard-ian Angel Community Services, will be held at 5:30 p.m., Saturday, April 13, in the grand ballroom at the Holiday Inn Joliet Conference Center, 411 Jefferson St., Joliet.

Callahan, who has served as coroner since 1998, is a nationally certified medicolegal Death Investigator and currently teaches forensic photography at Morris High School GAVC program.

Callahan believes in living life to the fullest and helping others whenever he can, even if it is on the dance floor.

“When I was asked to be a celebrity dancer, I hesitated for a moment, but then realized it was not only for a good cause, but would be fun in my personal life as well,” he said.

The proceeds from this event benefit Guardian Angel Community Services’ seven core programs:

1) Groundwork domestic violence program, which provides an emergency shelter, crisis intervention, advocacy, counseling, and prevention education;

2) Suzy’s Caring Place , which provides domestic violence transitional living;

3) Exchange Club Center, which offers counseling, parenting services, and classes that assist at-risk children and families in the prevention of child abuse and neglect;

4) Sexual Assault Service Center, which provides crisis intervention, advocacy, counseling, and prevention education;

5) Dillard Harris Educational Center, an alternative school for students in grades 5-12;

6) Foster Care program; and

7) Partner Abuse Intervention Program, an education based program for perpetrators of violence

Additional local celebrity dancers are Julie Edwards of Presence St. Joseph Medical Center; R. Dale Evans of Joliet Housing Authority; Beth Ann May, Joliet Township Clerk; John Block of Remco Medical; and Kathy Pecora of Will County Land Use Department Resource Recovery & Energy Division and Heroes West.

These local celebrities will dance with professional dance instructors and compete in a ballroom dancing exhibition.

Judges are Will County Executive Larry Walsh; Michael Murray, of River-stone Financial; and 2012 celebrity dancer Suzanne Hart. For the first time, the position of the fourth judge will be auctioned off before the performances begin.

“Red Carpet” reporters will be, from WJOL,  Lynne Lichtenauer, Mary Lancaster and State Rep. Natalie Manley. The Masters of Ceremony for the evening will be Grundy County Chamber Executive Director Caroline Portlock and WJOL morning show host Scott Slocum.

A four-course dinner, award presentations, great raffle prizes, silent auction, and dancing will follow the performance.

Guardian Angel Commun-ity Services invites the public to attend this year’s event; tickets are on sale now for $125 per person. Call (815) 729-0930, ext. 423, to order event tickets and/or to obtain more information.

GACS has been serving Will and Grundy Counties for more than 115 years, and reached nearly 30,000 people last year alone.

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