More than $16,000 was raised for Battered Persons’ Advocacy of Roseburg during the Latin-themed Valentine’s Gala and salsa dance competition Feb. 16 at the Seven Feathers Casino Resort Convention Center in Canyonville.
Prior to the event, 10 couples attended a dance class every week for 15 weeks to learn a salsa dance routine, which they performed in front of the sold-out gala crowd of 300.
The winners of the couple’s dance competition were Kris and Juan Yraguen. Diana and Doug Knous were recognized for the most ticket sales. Tickets for the event sold out in one week.
The best group performance and fundraising effort went to the Purple Team, which was comprised of the Yraguens, Tammie and Gary Hunt, Jayne Maley and Lyle Lee, Carol and Fred Sabins, and Stacey and Gary Crowe.
Valeria Ball, chairwoman of the event and BPA board member, instructed the couples in the salsa classes. Although she has taught dance for many years, she hadn’t taught salsa dancing so she took private lessons before the classes began. Melanie Prummer, executive director of BPA, said Ball volunteered for more than 20 hours a week to coordinate this event.
“Valeria’s enthusiasm and love for dance and Battered Persons’ Advocacy made this event a huge success,” Prummer said.
During part of the evening, the audience got involved by participating in the Dance for Cash salsa lesson. Those attending had the opportunity to pledge money to have friends or family get up on stage and dance. That part of the evening raised $3,900 alone.
The event also had a dozen sponsors, recognized for giving at the gold, silver or bronze levels.
Proceeds benefit BPA programs and services. Over the past two years, the nonprofit agency has seen a 61 percent increase in women utilizing emergency shelter and an 18 percent increase in the number of children. Last year, advocates responded to more than 6,000 crisis calls and completed 1,136 face-to-face assessments to help families plan for safety, Prummer said.