COLUMBIA, S.C. — Eduardo Ramirez is a man with many talents. He is a retired ballet dancer, Columbia Firefighter, and an aviator with the South Carolina Army National Guard. Now, he is training to battle it out on the dance floor, all for charity.
Ramirez is just one of the 12 community figureheads competing in the 4th annual Dancing with the Stars charity competition benefiting Epworth Children's Home. The event is hosted by Coldwell Banker.
“My ballet background has helped me a lot in learning the choreography," Ramirez says.
Each dancer is partnered with a professional dancer from the Elite Ballroom Academy in Columbia. The dancers raise money in the weeks leading up to the competition. On the day of the event, judges will decide on the winner of the dancing and fundraising portions.
“There’s two trophies," says Ramirez. "One for the dance champion and one for the fundraising champion. So, I want one, at least just to be able to say ‘hey, we did it’.”
Epworth Chilren's Home Communications Specialist, Teddi Garrick, says this fundraiser is a big deal for them. "It’s part of the reason we’ve been able to be around for so many years and really sets us up for success in the future," she adds.
As a father of four children who wears many hats, Ramirez says he has set aside time to train for the event, something that is hard but will pay off in the end.
“I feel like I want to be a role model to them and to be able to give back to the community at the same time." said Ramirez.
This dedication to the event has not gone unnoticed by others.
“It’s just been really moving to see how someone just out in the community is putting in all this extra work, time and effort to make our kid’s lives better." says Garrick.
Coldwell Banker started the event three years ago with the help of Elite Ballroom Academy owner, Jamie Barrett. Since then, they have raised over $120,000 for Epworth. All of the proceeds are given to charity through the Coldwell Banker CARES program.
Tickets for the Dancing with the Stars competition cost $30. Voting for a dancer is available online. Each vote is a $10 donation. Click here to vote and donate to your favorite dancers.
The event will be on Saturday, March 28, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. at River Bluff High School located at 320 Corley Mill Road in Lexington.