Paula Hartman teaches a series of dance moves to the volunteer participants in the upcoming “Dancing with the Stars” benefit gala. The KDH Foundation gala will raise money for the new KDH Cancer Center. The gala will be held in the Overlook Room at the Clifty Inn on Saturday, November 15. (Staff photos by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
Paula Hartman teaches a series of dance moves to the volunteer participants in the upcoming “Dancing with the Stars” benefit gala. The KDH Foundation gala will raise money for the new KDH Cancer Center. The gala will be held in the Overlook Room at the Clifty Inn on Saturday, November 15. (Staff photos by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
A dozen King's Daughters' Health employees, community officials and friends of the hospital will kick up their heels during dance routines at a fundraising gala in November.

The gala, a "Dancing with the Stars"-themed event, will raise money for the hospital's new cancer center building while having a little fun too, KDH Foundation Director Sue Livers said.

The hospital foundation used to hold galas annually, but this will be the first event in several years.

The gala also serves another purpose, Livers said - bringing awareness to the foundation and its mission.

"A lot of people don't know the foundation raises funds for the hospital," she said. "We want people to know we exist."

In addition to supporting college scholarships and promoting programs for healthy living, the foundation - which was founded in 2005 - also serves as the charitable organization that supports the hospital's mission of improving the health of patients through care, service and education.

The gala will support fundraising efforts for the Hope and Healing Campaign, which has raised over half of the $4 million goal for the new cancer treatment center.

Dancers began preparing for the event by learning the dance steps during a practice session at the hospital Wednesday night. While some participants were nervous about volunteering, Livers said they agreed for the good of the cancer center.

Dr. Victoria Shirley, who joined the KDH medical staff earlier this year, agreed to participate because she enjoys dance and understands the need for a new cancer center.

"I think the cancer center is one of our top priorities," Shirley said.

Even though Shirley serves on the hospital's OB/GYN medical staff, she said discussions about cancer aren't unusual in her office.

"That's one of the number one things we talk about during visits with patients," she said.

John Richey of Seymour agreed to join at Livers' request, but also because of the goal of providing advanced treatment to cancer patients in the area.

"Cancer's a tough disease, and we need to do everything we can," Richey said.

Paula Hartman, the group's dance instructor, said she tried to choose dances that people might be familiar with or something that could be picked up with a little practice.

Organizers want to make the competition fun for participants, as well as the audience. Livers put the contestants at ease, assuring them there won't be any routines as tough as the ones on the hit television show.

"There will be no paso doble," she said. "There will be no samba."

But like the show, awards will be presented. The dancing contest will include two awards: the "Dancing with the Stars" winner, as well as the People's Choice winner. Gala attendees will be able to vote for their favorite dancer by placing money in containers with the dancer's photo.

Dancers are expected to include: Gary Armbrecht, Fred Kimmel, Trevor Crafton, Andrew Forrester, Toni Huff, John Richey, John Wallace, Stacy Howser, Victoria Shirley, Katie Jenner, Sue DeWine and Letha Harding.

The "Dancing with the Stars" Gala will be held Saturday, Nov. 15 at the Clifty Falls State Park Overlook Room. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. with cocktails and the beginning of a silent auction, which will include donated items from local businesses and organizations. Dining and dancing will begin at 6 p.m. with the featured "Dancing with the Stars" contest at 9 p.m. Dancing will continue from 10 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. The silent auction ends at 10:30 p.m.

Tickets for the KDH Foundation Dancing with the Stars Gala are on sale for $75 per person. Admission includes choice of an entree, the contest and an evening of dancing with live music by The Impalas. A cash bar will also be available.

Tickets may be purchased at the Madison Visitors' Center at 601 W. First St., the Madison Area Chamber of Commerce at 301 E. Main St., and River Valley Financial Bank locations at 430 Clifty Drive, 233 E. Main St. or 10 Medical Plaza in Hanover.

Tickets also are available through the Foundation's page at www.kdhmadison.org, by contacting Livers by phone at (812) 801-0555 or by email at livers@kdhmadison.org.