Growing up, Mary Lynne calls her lifestyle that of a “corporate brat”. She and her family moved many times across the United States. Mary Lynne met her husband, Eli, while in dental school in Alabama; the couple has one daughter together. Mary Lynne repotted herself from working as a dentist and professor to Kentucky to serve as the “First Lady” of the University of Kentucky.
Mary Lynne decided to participate in this year’s DWLS to reunite with the past participants. “I thought it would be fun to be a part of the reunion group of past stars and a wonderful opportunity to play a part in helping raise funds for providing access to health care for individuals in Kentucky,” she explained. “I have great admiration for the surgeons who volunteer to provide care through the Surgery on Sunday program, and I encourage all of our TOPS readers to pitch in to support this event to help make Kentucky healthier.”
In her spare time, Mary Lynne enjoys having her hands in the dirt, working in the garden. She also likes walking outdoors, listening to Pandora or trekking around with her dogs. “I dream of being an artist,” she confessed.
DANIEL FEATHERSON with Renee Gallagher
Retired Technology Consultant
Contributor to Arts, Education, and Welfare Organizations
A native of Lexington, Dan attended Henry Clay High School as a teen. He received a full athletic scholarship to the University of Kentucky, where he played varsity football when the Wildcats were still on Stoll Field.
After college, Dan taught himself to program computers, leading to a 27-year career in the tech field. He will surely be bringing that same self-determination to the Dancing With the Lexington Stars competition! He participated in 2011 and is excited to contribute to Rotary and Surgery on Sunday again this year. Plus, Dan has always wanted to learn to dance the Hustle.
Dan is a K-man, a UK Fellow, and a member of the President’s Club. He is also a member of the Good Shepherd Church and Society, the Henry Clay Society, the Thomas D. Clark Society, the Blue Grass Trust, the National Society of Arts and Letters, the UK Art Museum Collectors, the Salvation Army Red Shield Society, and LexArts. Along with contributing to a number of other community organizations, participating in DWTLS allows him to support Surgery on Sunday.
NOELLE DICK with Chip Sebastian
Owner/Motivator, CycleYOU and Swim Bike Run of KY
Noelle considers herself a happy person. “Everyday, I start with gratitude for what I have already been given, including a fantastic husband, three amazing stepchildren, a business that helps people feel better about themselves and the best friends. I am truly blessed,” Noelle explained. “I know I’m responsible for creating my own success and happiness.”
How did Noelle end up doing DWLS again? “Because Shelia Bayes tricked me into doing it again! Really!” She explained, “Sam and I did it the first year, we had a blast but I didn’t think I would be back! I also really love what Surgery on Sunday accomplishes.”
Noelle believes that everyone should step away from their comfort zone and do something that scares them—and DWLS scares her! She’ll be preparing by praying (a lot) and cycling to the beat at CycleYOU.
In her spare time, Noelle enjoys travelling with her husband, spending time with friends, reading and laughing often. She says she loves music. “It motivates and moves me,” she said. She loves a variety of tunes, from electronic to 40s standards.
Does Noelle have any advice for future DWLS participants? “Just shake that tail feather and work the crowd! You just gotta have FUN!”
CRINDA FRANCKE with Aaron Jones
President, ExecuTrain Kentucky
Having been a successful businessperson in Kentucky for 20 years, Crinda proudly calls Lexington home. With two companies and two teenagers, Crinda is motivated to make the most of every day!
Crinda says that participating in Dancing with the Lexington Stars was one of the best experiences of her life, so the decision to return this year was an easy one. “It’s fun to challenge myself out of my comfort zone and what better way to do it than dancing for a cause? Surgery on Sunday makes such a difference in so many lives,” she said. She believes her tenacity and 80s girl dance moves will carry her through the competition.
Crinda, who has been a group exercise class instructor for over 25 years, is excited to learn The Rumba. “This dance tells a story of love and passion between a strong, male lover and a coy, teasing woman,” Crinda explained. “Full of dramatic intensity, it emphasizes strong, sensuous leg and foot movements!”
Is she nervous to be returning? “Of course!” But she continued, “I’m looking forward to dancing and raising money for Surgery on Sunday. It’s one of the best social events of the year!”
MEREDITH LANE & BLAKE FERGUSON
Realtor, The Lane Team at Keller Williams Bluegrass Realty
Principal Auctioneer/Owner, The Lane Auction Group
Meredith was born and raised in Lexington and graduated from the University of Kentucky. She sells homes for a living and does TV and radio personality work for fun. Meredith also loves being active, going to Zone Fitness and Pure Barre a few times a week. “I love being outside, hanging out at Cave Run Lake, playing with my Labrador, Brady, going fishing and enjoying everything this beautiful region has to offer with my friends and family,” she said.
Meredith participated in Dancing With the Lexington Stars two years ago. “It was such a fantastic and fun experience that supports some amazing local charities,” she explained. “I’m thankful for the opportunity to be able to do it again! It has been a lot of fun to learn how to professionally dance with my boyfriend.”
Blake is a bit more nervous. “I learned the basic ballroom dancing steps for Cotillion years ago, but those have long been forgotten,” he said. Has he ever danced in front of a crowd before? “Not without liquid courage,” he joked. His go-to dance moves include The Electric Slide and The Lawnmower. His competitive spirit may just carry the couple through: “We are out to WIN!”
JIM RICHARDSON with Catherine Docherty
Portfolio Management Director/Singer/Actor
Jim considers his top three life priorities in life to be faith, family and friends. “My life revolves around being relevant and making life better for others,” he said.
Part of his initiative to help others is his participation in Dancing With the Lexington Stars. He is a part of this event to help support Surgery on Sunday and the Lexington Rotary Club. He previously danced in the second Dancing With the Lexington Stars competition, so he’s no stranger to the dance floor. Still, Jim admits he’s leaning a bit on his faith to get him through this event: “I’m praying I don’t injure myself. Nerves are the last thing about which I’m concerned.”
Jim says his dance instructor is his secret weapon. His main goal during his training with Catherine? “To look like I’m having fun while dancing!”
Jim enjoys skiing, golfing and paddle boarding in his leisure time. He says his favorite types
of music are country and Broadway show tunes. When he’s not dazzling the world with his
go-to dance move–The Sludge–he’s being a very proud grandpa. “I have the smartest, most talented and beautiful granddaughter in the world,” he gushed about his pride and joy, Reese.
DR. MAGDALENE KARON AND DR. JOHN STEWART
Dr. Magdalene Karon
OB-GYN, laparoscopic robotic surgical specialist
Dr. John Stewart
General and Vascular Surgeon
Director, Fayette Surgical Associates
These partners in life are bringing their chemistry as a couple to the DWLS stage. “We love dancing together,” they explained. They even did some ballroom dancing a decade ago! John joked, “To my friends, I say the ladies
I dance with are a whole lot prettier—and a whole lot sexier—than the guys with whom I play golf.”
As dedicated medical professionals, these doctors spend their lives in and out of Saint Joseph Hospital. They have two children and are active supporters of the arts in Lexington, especially music. Together, they love to dance and travel in their spare time. John enjoys sports and visual arts. Magdalene enjoys gardening and painting.
They’re excited to participate in DWLS because they enjoy dancing, learning the Rumba and supporting Surgery on Sunday. They also love to encourage people to dance, whether as individuals or couples.
According to these doctors, dancing is great exercise, fun, socially engaging and a great stress relief. They say they’re not nervous about the performance, but they are a little nervous about getting all of their practice sessions in before the competition, as they are both so busy!
J. STUART HURT & KRISTEN OAKLEY
j. stuart hurt
Publisher, TOP Marketing Group
It was only a matter of time before friends Kristen and stuart teamed up for Dancing With the Lexington Stars! “We are going to sweep the floor… hopefully with our feet and not our backsides,” stuart explained.
Stuart, co-owner of House on Walton Ave., considers one of his favorite hobbies to be tearing things apart and creating projects from scratch, something that leaves his husband in awe. He said, “Sometimes, rearranging the entire house is cathartic and gets my mind jump started to the next chapter!” Will that creative spirit be his secret weapon in the DWLS competition? Only time will tell!
Kristen was born and raised in Canton, OH. She graduated from Vanderbilt University, which is where she met her husband. Together, they have a big dog named AJ, a daughter and a baby on the way, due in August. “I’m hoping the fact that we have a 3rd dance partner by way of my big belly will be my secret weapon,” Kristen confided.
Kristen took a few dance lessons with her husband before their wedding, but she is more a fan of “drop it like it’s hot” moves. She was also a Greek dancer growing up, performing at large festivals. OPA!
DEBBIE LONG & JON CARLOFTIS
Jon is known for his stunning garden landscapes, but DWLS may increase his notoriety as a dancer. In fact, dancing is in his DNA. “It’s what I was born to do! Momma and Daddy were big dancers and taught us their steps in the kitchen growing up,” he said. He considers his work his hobby, but also enjoys entertaining and having a great time a close second.
Why is he participating in DWLS? “They asked us back, and although this year is a tough one to find time for it, this is for a great cause,” he said. His dancing partner, Debbie, agreed; “I love this charity!” They seem like a well-matched team, both saying that they don’t have go-to dance moves. Instead, they prefer to just feel the music and go with the flow.
Debbie said she was nervous when she participated in 2012, but is much more relaxed this time around. “I’m just going to have fun and not worry if I’m doing the steps technically right,” she explained.
“I would love to learn the techniques of dancing—which I don’t currently have.” In her spare time, Debbie enjoys horseback riding, golf, doing yoga and traveling.
ANDY SHEA with Rae Mickelwait
President/CEO/Owner, Lexington Legends
Partner, TrusT Lounge
Andy played baseball at Boston College and has lived in Lexington for a little over 10 years. He originally moved here to work for the Lexington Legends as their Season Ticket Sales Representative. Since then, he has climbed the ranks to become the team’s CEO and co-owner (with his mom). He says, “I have loved every minute of working for the Legends and living in Lexington!” He then opened TrusT Lounge and is now partners in the business with one of his best friends.
Andy is bringing that same self-determination to the DWLS competition. “I plan on bringing the Mirror Ball trophy back to Whitaker Bank Ballpark this year,” he declared. As a previous winner of the title, Andy has a lot to prove when he takes the floor, but he’s happy to do it. “It’s for a great cause with great people and I had an absolute blast 2 years ago.”
In his spare time, Andy loves hanging out and socializing with friends. He enjoys going to the dog park with his dog Royal, who he calls his best friend. He’s also a big fan of “Criminal Minds” and sports, especially Philly teams!
JACK “Goose” GIVENS with Astrid Wenke
Vice President of Business Development, Bowlin Group
UK sports fans will recognize Jack “Goose” Givens, who helped lead the UK Wildcats basketball team to the 1978 NCAA championship victory over Duke. He also played professional basketball for the Atlanta Hawks. How is this Kentucky sports hero preparing for DWLS? “Practice, practice, practice and then praying a lot!” He added, “I want to make it look intentional when I fall!”
Jack says he’s excited to participate because he enjoyed his first experience, even though that’s the first and last time he’s danced before crowd. “I really look forward to competing and the challenge!”
BUZZ CARMICHAEL with Cathya Franko
Private Equity Sales, CBA Pharma
Buzz is hoping to make a difference through his participation in Dancing With the Lexington Stars. “As an active Rotarian and Endowment Board Member, I want to support their charities,” Buzz said. “I also want my grandchildren to experience the feeling that one never stops giving and getting involved in the community.”
In his spare time, Buzz is working on getting back in shape so he can tick off items on his Bucket List, as well as spending more enjoyable time with his friends and family. He enjoys wine tastings, listening to others’ life stories and studying theology and history.