Global Health Systems Foundation raises more than $100K to benefit
Riley Hospital for Children at 3rd annual Reason to Dance, Reason for Hope

INDIANAPOLIS – For the third year, Global Health Systems Foundation of Indianapolis hosted Reason to Dance, Reason for Hope at The Indiana Roof Ballroom on Friday, March 10. Following its success from the first two years, the organization raised the bar and will donate $100,000 with these profits going to benefit Child Life and the Herman B. Wells Center for Pediatric Research at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health. In 2015, this event raised $30,000 for Riley; and in 2016, $68,000 was given to the hospital.

“It was a very emotional moment for the planning committee when we realized we were able to hit our collective goal of $100,000," says Damon Greeley, president of Global Health Systems. “This makes it easier for Child Life and Research programs to immediately utilize the money.”

Kaleigh Schrock, former Fort Wayne Komets Hockey player and captain, and current Head of Athlete Development of Canlan Ice Sports at Fort Wayne’s SportONE/Parkview Icehouse, was announced the Grand Champion for being the top fundraiser of all the celebrities. Schrock raised nearly $37,000, which is the highest of any celebrity in the event’s three years. With about a week and half left in this year’s fundraising efforts, Global Health Systems issued a Platinum Challenge to all the celebrities. For any celebrity that secured a platinum level sponsor, which is $8,000 or more in support at one time, Global Health guaranteed a mirror ball trophy. With the help of some Riley families he recruited, Schrock actually raised more than $10,000 in a weekend with the Fort Wayne Komets in Fort Wayne, so Schrock was also awarded with a Platinum Challenge Award. Schrock danced with professional partner Kelly Bartlett from The Fort Wayne Ballroom Company.

Dr. Merv Yoder, Director of the Wells Center for Pediatric Research and Associate Dean for Entrepreneurial Research at IU Health in Indianapolis, received the Riley’s Children’s Choice Award and the Judges Choice Champion Award. He danced with this professional partner Kathleen Ilo from Indianapolis Dance Lessons at Starlite Ballroom.

Terra Brantley, Anchor for WANE-TV NewsChannel 15’s First News and Noon News in Fort Wayne, received the Judges Choice Runner-up Award after a three-way tie was broken by going to most votes received ($25 donations) by the general public.

“We had some outstanding moments this year─not only at the event but in fundraising over the last several months, as all the celebrities were more successful in their endeavors,” says Greeley.

The event fundraiser is a ballroom dance competition modeled after the popular "Dancing with the Stars" television show. Celebrities are paired with professional dance instructors to learn and refine a ballroom and freestyle dance routine. They then compete to win one of several awards.

“We’re a small company, so three years ago we thought we had two options: to make a small donation or to do something in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts in order to make a huge impact," says Greeley. "And this year reinforced that. We have built something that is becoming significant. It has become a bona fide experience for guests, because people are talking about it.”

Friday evening included a silent auction and cocktail reception, a three-course dinner, the ballroom competition, and professional routines from the Indianapolis Ballet, Dance Kaleidoscope, Indianapolis Colts Cheerleaders, and some of the ballroom professionals. Three judges scored the performances to decide the Judges Choice Awards: Roberta Wong from the Indianapolis Ballet; David Hochoy, Artistic Director of Dance Kaleidoscope in Indianapolis; and Latin dance champion Drew Kolditz. Emmy-award-winning reporter Rafael Sanchez from RTV6 emceed the event for the second year and kept the crowd entertained throughout with his engaging personality.

“We already are working toward next year,” says Greeley. “Several potential celebrities have already come forward expressing interest in participating for 2018.”

Other celebrities included:

Mina Starsiak, co-owner of Two Chicks and a Hammer and star of HGTVs “Good Bones”

  • She danced with her professional partner Jonas Kazlauskas from Indianapolis Dance Lessons at Starlite Ballroom.

Beth Firulli, faculty research scientist within the Riley Heart Research Center in the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research at Riley Hospital

  • She danced with her professional partner Rob Jenkins from Riolo Dance.

George Caraghiaur, managing director of Energy & Sustainability Services LLC and author of “A Guide to Energy Service Companies”

  • He danced with his professional partner Marie Riolo from Riolo Dance.

Brian Pinkins, Director of Retirement Services Operations for OneAmerica

  • He danced with his professional partner Monica Lung from Riolo Dance.

Hannah Ignas, Indianapolis Colts Cheerleader

  • She danced with her professional partner Xavier Medina from Riolo Dance.

Sponsors

Gold sponsors: Citizen’s Energy Group, Conserv Building Automation Systems, Core Tech Revolution, Indiana Thermal Solutions, Leach and Russell Mechanical Contractors, and Parkview Health

Silver sponsors: Bright Sheet Metal, CWC Logistics, Children’s Bureau, Dr. Niles Schwartz at Fort Wayne Orthopedics, Fort Wayne Komets, Markey’s Rental & Staging, Messer Construction, Mid America Elevator Co. Inc., HGTV / Scripps Newtwork Interactive, Simpler, The Hot Room, Trane, Ubiquitous LLC, and Validated Custom Solutions

Bronze sponsors: 9097-0328 Québec Inc., Affiliated Steam and Hot Water, Applied Engineering, Ash Brokerage, Bob and Katrina Getts, Electric Plus, Esco Communications, Fort Wayne Oral Maxillofacial, Fuller Engineering, Kachmann Foundation, Kings III Emergency Communications, Long Electric, Nottingham Realty, Orah Hirsch Pescovitz, M.D., Precision Chemical, The Fort Wayne Ballroom Company, Thornton Foundation, and Vera Bradley

All of the celebrities posing with their professional partners following the opening group number from Friday night’s Reason to Dance, Reason for Hope event at The Indiana Roof Ballroom

Dr. Merv Yoder and her pro partner Kathleen Ilo from Indianapolis Dance Lessons at Starlite Ballroom won the Judges Choice Champion and the Riley Children’s Choice awards.

Terra Brantley and her pro partner Christopher Spalding from The Fort Wayne Ballroom Company earned the Judges Choice Runner-up.

Grand champion Kaleigh Schrock hoists the ultimate mirror ball trophy from the 2017 Reason to Dance, Reason for Hope.

Grand champion Kaleigh Schrock with his professional partner Kelly Bartlett Spalding from The Fort Wayne Ballroom Company

Kaleigh Schrock took a moment to thank his family and friends after being named the 2017 Grand Champion for raising nearly $37,000 to benefit Riley.