The Coastal Star

Shall We Dance? Boca’s Ballroom Battle to benefit college-scholarship program

By Amy Woods

A footloose and fancy-free fundraiser for the George Snow Scholarship Fund has brought together eight amateur rug-cutters who will twirl their way across the parquet Aug. 28.
Boca’s Ballroom Battle — an evening of dining and dancing — pairs local volunteers who have agreed to shake their “groove thang” with professionals from Fred Astaire dance studios in Boca Raton. This year’s theme: the ’80s.
“All of these individuals are givers,” Debi Feiler, the fund’s vice president of program services, said of the hand-picked hoofers. “They all have, at one point, been out there in some charitable fashion doing something for the community.”
The lineup is comprised of Brian Altschuler, Peg Anderson, Elias Janetis, Frank McKinney, Holly Meehan, Chris Nichols, Donna Parlapiano and Wendy Sadusky. Each is tasked with bringing in as much money as possible through pledges. The Coastal Star caught up with McKinney, Meehan and Sadusky to ask them why they dare to dance.

Frank McKinney, real-estate entrepreneur and author, practices dance moves with partner Pam Casanave at Fred Astaire dance studios in Boca Raton. Tim Stepien/The Coastal Star

Frank McKinney
Occupation: Real-estate artist
Residence: Delray Beach
Dance partner: Pam Casanave
Song: You Shook Me All Night Long, by AC/DC

CS: Is dancing difficult?
FM: I am very athletic, so I thought, “Wow, this dancing thing should be pretty easy.” That was certainly learned to be untrue.
CS: Have you ever done anything like this before?
FM: Never, but I love the feeling of experiencing things that are well beyond my comfort zone, and I have two left feet. I’ve stepped on my partner’s toes a few times. I’ve probably broken her toes.
CS: What is your goal?
FM: To raise enough money to cover five scholarships. I never had a chance to go to school, so to be able to send kids who can’t afford it means a lot to me.

Holly Meehan, photographer and volunteer, busts a move with dance partner James Brann.

Holly Meehan
Occupation: Volunteer extraordinaire
Residence: Boca Raton
Dance partner: James Brann
Song: Footloose, by Kenny Loggins

CS: What is your dance background?
HM: My husband David and I took dance lessons 10 years ago before our wedding, but I’m not sure that counts.
CS: What do you think about this year’s ’80s theme?
HM: Ahhh, those were my jams. I’m loving the ’80s theme and really hope the attendees get involved and pull out the Miami Vice pastels and Madonna lace.
CS: What is your goal?
HM: Breaking previous records is always my goal — anything to raise the bar. Like any charity organization, it makes a difference to see volunteers really get involved and show their passion, and if I can dance my way to help a local student get funding for college, how could I say no?

Wendy Sadusky, designing housewife, strikes a pose with dance partner Jacob Jennings at Fred Astaire dance studios in Boca Raton. Photos by Tim Stepien/The Coastal Star

Wendy Sadusky
Occupation: Designing housewife
Residence: Boca Raton

Dance partner: Jacob Jennings
Song: Hey Mickey, by Toni Basil

CS: Who recommended you?
WS: Chris Palermo, a past participant and now a neighbor. When he did it, I mistakenly said, “That looks like so much fun.” No, I absolutely am thrilled to be asked to participate in this.
CS: How are the dance lessons going?
WS: It’s really, really fun. I’ve never danced, though, so it’s really something different. It’s about lines and angles and trying to make yourself look good.
CS: What is your goal?
WS: $25,000. The opportunity to give these children a chance to go to college is so important. They’re kids that work hard, get good grades, and they would have zero chance without funding.

If You Go
What: Boca’s Ballroom Battle
When: 6 to 11 p.m. Aug. 28
Where: Boca Raton Resort & Club, 501 E. Camino Real
Cost: $175
Information: Call 347-6799 or visit

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