Kimberly Laudick and Adam Ries
Kimberly Laudick and Adam Ries

CELINA – Local business people Adam Ries and Kimberly Laudick spent this past Saturday dancing with the “Big Stars” at Overdrive, south of Celina. The event was designed to raise money for, Big Brothers Big Sisters and was on a format of dancing teams similar to the Dancing with the Stars show.

Couples from various communities around the area performed in an afternoon matinee and evening dinner theater format. Those attending were encouraged to donate on behalf of their favorite dancing performance with all proceeds going to Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ries, a management trainee at First Federal of Van Wert, said that he got involved with the event because he grew up in a large family and his brothers and sisters are a very important part of his life. He noted that it feels rewarding to help an agency like Big Brothers Big Sisters that connects youth with mentors and role models within the community.

“These mentors give a strong positive influence to our youth,” said Ries.

Laudick is the executive director of the YWCA of Van Wert. She chose to become involved with the event because dancing has been a major part of her life and giving back to her community is dear to her heart.

“Being asked to dance, represent my community and supporting an amazing organization is very exciting and rewarding,” said Laudick, the mother of four children.

Ries and Laudick performed a swing/dance to the music of, “Boogie Shoes,” by K.C. and The Sunshine Band.

“I didn’t always know her,” said Ries of Laudick. “When she asked me to team up with her for this I thought, ‘dancing? Oh no, this isn’t going to be good. It’s not going to be good but I knew it was for a great cause.”

“I knew we wanted to do something with lots of energy,” observed Laudick. “Adam’s footwork is lots of fun. I knew we were both family people and care a lot about young people.”

The first time they were together to practice was in July. They practiced at the YWCA where Kim is employed. She showed him a few steps; gradually, they increased their intensity and routine.

“I knew Kim from my previous job,” said Ries. “I knew she was a very good dancer and would be a lot of fun to work with.”

One step they didn’t plan on one night left Kim with a torn ACL and meniscus. Even that, said Laudick, was not going to stop the Big Brothers Big Sisters performance. They modified and changed some aspects of their performance but were determined to carry it out.

“This has been such a good experience,” said Ries. “I got to know Kim better and I respect dancing more.”

“We are both competitive people,” said Laudick. “We’ve had the opportunity to raise money for a great cause and we’ve made a lifelong friendship.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters for this region is located at 1005 North Main Street, Celina, 45822. Those who have questions or would like to inquire about giving can do so at 419-584-2447.