PIKE COUNTY, Ohio – Fluor-BWXT Portsmouth recently supported the Ohio River Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross with their remarkably successful “Dancing with Our Stars” fundraising competition.
Fluor-BWXT is the cleanup contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy at the DOE Portsmouth Site in Piketon. The company invests a percentage of its fee from DOE in the four-county region. Through the Community Commitment Fund, the Steering Group annually develops targets for economic development, charitable giving, and education initiatives to provide the greatest impact to the region.
Fluor-BWXT supports charitable agencies through its Community Commitment Fund, such as the recent Ohio River Valley Chapter Red Cross Dancing with Our Stars event. Contestants and the audience were welcomed by emcees to an evening of entertainment and elegance. The winners, Nick Rutman and Autumn Dowdy, raised nearly $25,000 for charity. This year, contestants brought in more than $150,000 for the American Red Cross.
The Red Cross is one of Fluor-BWXT’s recipients of charitable efforts and critical needs in the community. The March 18 fundraising competition at the SOMC Friends Community Center in Portsmouth raised $156,125. Nearly 500 guests enjoyed dinner and voted for their favorite dancers in a show modeled after the popular network television program.
Fluor-BWXT donated $6,000 toward the event.
All proceeds will benefit local programs and services of the chapter. Last year, the chapter collected 4,610 units of blood (potentially saving more than 12,000 lives) and provided disaster relief to 550 families. They serve Pike, Scioto, Jackson, Adams, Brown and Lawrence counties.
Community Executive Debbie Smith, American Red Cross, said volunteers make the difference.
“We depend on volunteers of all ages and backgrounds to carry out the work of the Red Cross, volunteers account for 97 percent of our total workforce,” Smith said.
“This year, we had more than 200 volunteers make the work of the local Red Cross possible contributing countless hours. Our Dancing with Our Stars event alone had approximately 100 volunteers counting our dancers, cast, crew and volunteers working very hard on the event.”
“This event is one of our largest fundraisers of the year,” volunteer Linda Davis said. “I helped with the setup and teardown for the event and provided food and water to the volunteers, stars, deejays, media team and to the people who were tallying the votes.”
Davis serves as a volunteer for the American Red Cross’ Disaster Action Team and is an employee at Fluor-BWXT.
Event coordinator Vicky Hatcher said the event isn't just a fundraiser; it also builds friendships.
"This group of dancers was great and became the best of friends,” Hatcher said. “When we first started the 2016 season, I panicked, wondering how we were ever going to get close to what we made last year. Then, the dancers jumped in with their own fundraisers. When you have 10 of them all raising money like that, the results can be amazing. We're all looking forward to next year, which will be our fifth anniversary for Dancing with Our Stars and the 100th year for the Red Cross in our area. Thanks for your support. We'll be back. We really appreciate Fluor-BWXT."
Emcees for the event were attorney Jeremy Burnside, deejay Chris Smith (Pulse FM 98.3) and Amy Hassel (Gabby’s Grand Salon). Judges were Richard Risby (WNXT), Cheryl Mershon (Noggins Pub), and Wheelersburg basketball coach Brent Eaton.
This year’s fundraising efforts have pushed total event donations past the half million dollar mark since the competition was first held four years ago.
Fluor-BWXT employee and former contestant Elizabeth Scott returned for an encore performance with her partner Neal Hatcher, dancing the jitterbug.
About Fluor-BWXT Portsmouth LLC
Fluor Corporation (NYSE: FLR) and BWX Technologies, Inc. (BWXT) (NYSE: BWXT), two world-class companies with significant Ohio experience, formed Fluor-BWXT Portsmouth LLC (FBP) to address the decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) needs at the Department of Energy's (DOE) Portsmouth Site in Pike County, Ohio. Fluor-BWXT which employs 1,900 workers that bring unparalleled experience, insights, and lessons learned from across the DOE complex. The Fluor-BWXT Portsmouth mandate is to clean up the Portsmouth Site safely and compliantly, provide strong uranium stewardship and partner with local communities to achieve a sustainable economic future. For more information, visit www.fbportsmouth.com.