Out & About: Celebrity dancers wow at Animal Friends event | TribLIVE.com
Out & About

Out & About: Celebrity dancers wow at Animal Friends event

Shirley McMarlin

Chris Granata and his dancing partner-instructor Kaelyn Gresko took double honors for their swing routine at the 2019 Dancing With the Celebrities competition to benefit Animal Friends of Westmoreland.

Burning up the stage at Greensburg’s Palace Theatre on May 3, the high top-clad duo danced away with the first-place people’s choice award and the third-place judge’s award.

Taking first from the judges were Mariah Thoma and Markus Gresko for a cha-cha. Jenell Huska and David Mileski ranked second for their cha-cha.

Second place people’s choice winners were salsa dancers Donnie Zappone and Maria Sunseri, while Sarah Rebitch and Harold Barrett earned third for their foxtrot.

Hot on their heels were contestants Amanda Crick and Destin Bernie, tango; Joe Hnath and Katiana Davis, waltz; George Cheripka and Eve Squires, West Coast swing; Brian Merdian and Deana Foley, cha-cha; and Amy Gess and Addison Whetzel, tango.

A group of former DWTC pros and contestants warmed up the crowd with an opening routine set to “You Can’t Stop the Beat.”

Bringing their expertise as former contestants to the judges’ table were Gina Cerilli, Adam Ferri and Laura Johnson. Steve Limani and Elena LaQuatra handled emcee duties.

A dance party for audience members followed the show.

Event director was Animal Friends founder and president Candy Valentino, assisted by Bethany Morse and Jennifer Bonsel. Valentino, who was unable to attend, sent best wishes to the contestants and thanks to supporters via a video greeting.

Event proceeds support Animal Friends’ mission of rescuing, rehabilitating and re-homing animals in need. The organization maintains a shelter in Youngwood and a 62-acre sanctuary in Unity.

Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Shirley at 724-836-5750, [email protected] or via Twitter .


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Kim Stepinsky | For the Tribune-Review
From left: Event emcee Steve Limani, public relations officer for the Pennsylvania State Police, Bethany Morse, event committee and animal care manger, and volunteers Gretchen Kuhns and Justine Long gather for a photo May 3 during Dancing With the Celebrities, hosted by Animal Friends of Westmoreland and held at the Palace Theatre in Greensburg.
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Kim Stepinsky | For the Tribune-Review
Dance instructor Maria Sunseri and her partner, Donnie Zappone of Zappone’s Auto Service, salsa to “Dirty Dancing” during Dancing With the Celebrities, hosted May 3 by Animal Friends of Westmoreland and held at the Palace Theatre in Greensburg.
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Kim Stepinsky | For the Tribune-Review
From left: Chris Granata from Sam’s Club and instructor Kaelyn Gresko swing dance during Dancing With the Celebrities, hosted by Animal Friends of Westmoreland and held May 3 at the Palace Theatre in Greensburg.
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Kim Stepinsky | For the Tribune-Review
Dance instructor David Mileski and his partner, Jenell Huska of Derry Area School District, cha-cha during Dancing With the Celebrities, hosted by Animal Friends of Westmoreland and held May 3 at the Palace Theatre in Greensburg.
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Kim Stepinsky | For the Tribune-Review
Amy Gess of All American Real Estate Appraisal Services and instructor Addison Whetzel tango during Dancing With the Celebrities, hosted by Animal Friends of Westmoreland and held May 3 at the Palace Theatre in Greensburg.
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Kim Stepinsky | For the Tribune-Review
Sarah Rebitch of Citizens Fiber and instructor Harold Barrett dance the foxtrot May 3 during Dancing With the Celebrities, hosted by Animal Friends of Westmoreland and held at the Palace Theatre in Greensburg.
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Kim Stepinsky | For the Tribune-Review
Brian Merdian of RBVetCo and instructor Deana Foley cha-cha during Dancing With the Celebrities, hosted by Animal Friends of Westmoreland and held May 3 at the Palace Theatre in Greensburg.
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Kim Stepinsky | For the Tribune-Review
George Cheripka of GP Horseshoeing Services and instructor Eve Squires dance West Coast swing during Dancing With the Celebrities, hosted by Animal Friends of Westmoreland and held May 3 at the Palace Theatre in Greensburg.
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Kim Stepinsky | For the Tribune-Review
Instructor Katiana Davis and her partner, Joe Hnath, an aspiring actor and Stage Right student, waltz during Dancing With the Celebrities, hosted by Animal Friends of Westmoreland and held May 3 at the Palace Theatre in Greensburg.
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Kim Stepinsky | For the Tribune-Review
Instructor Markus Gresko and his partner, Mariah Thoma of Sanctus Salon & Spa, cha-cha during Dancing With the Celebrities, hosted by Animal Friends of Westmoreland and held May 3 at the Palace Theatre in Greensburg.
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Kim Stepinsky | For the Tribune-Review
Amanda Crick of Outside in School and her dance partner, Destin Bernie, tango during Dancing With the Celebrities, hosted by Animal Friends of Westmoreland and held May 3 at the Palace Theatre in Greensburg.
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Kim Stepinsky | For the Tribune-Review
Former DWTC pros and contestants take the stage May 3 as the opening performance at Dancing With the Celebrities, hosted by Animal Friends of Westmoreland and held at the Palace Theatre in Greensburg.
Categories: Lifestyles | OutAndAbout
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