Dancing With the Philadelphia Stars

From Fox 29's Kacie McDonnell to Q102's Chris "Maxwell" Jones, Philly celebs hit the dance floor for a good cause.

Last night at the 5th Annual Dancing With the Philadelphia Stars, nine Philadelphia notables put on their dance shoes for the annual competition that benefits the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Philadelphia/Delaware Valley Chapter. Artis and Barbara Ore, Stanley A. Simpkins, executive director of SCDAA/PDVC, and Marie Simpkins. Mr. Simpkins tells me this SCDAA/PDVC provides services and programs to children, adolescents and adults with sickle cell in Philadelphia and the surrounding five counties.

Below: Vera Tolbert, past president of AFRICOM-Philly; Senthil Kannan and Roxanne Pogue, both of Take the Lead on Pine Dance Studios; contestant Albert Lee, Independence Visitor Center; Megan Smith, Brownstone PR and founder of the event; contestant Chris “Maxwell” Jones, host of Q102’s Maxwell House; contestant Danielle Cohn, PHLCVB; contestant Alison Young, National Constitution Center; Paul Samulenas and Eveline Schut, Take the Lead on Pine Dance Studios; contestant Yael Lehman, the Food Trust; contestant Kacie McDonnell, FOX 29; and contestant Carrie Denny, Philadelphia magazine.

Below: Father Gregory Smith, with Meridel and Warren Peterson.

Below: Stephanie Spaeder, Gianna DeMaedio, Kanra Magnatta, and 2012 contestant Marisa Magnatta. Marisa is hosting Ladies Night Out at Parx Casino every Thursday night at 7 p.m. Did you see the billboard on I-95 promoting it? Pretty fancy.

Below: Ryanne Dennings, Dwayne Wharton, the Food Trust, Jenny Weissbourd, the Food Trust, Brian Lang and Adela Smith are excited to cheer on their friend and co-worker Yael Lehman, executive director of the Food Trust.

Below: Congratulations to newlyweds AJ Marisco and 6 ABC reporter Annie McCormick Marsico. They got married in a surprise ceremony for close family and friends on April 11th. Originally they told the guests they were going to a luncheon to celebrate the couple’s engagement. In reality, AJ had planned a wedding in France as a surprise to Annie, but they needed to get married in the U.S. first to make it legal. Former Governor Ed Rendell married them at XIX restaurant.

Below: Bernice Eastman, Kotati Butler, McLeod Darpoh, Louise Eastman and Pat Mitchell-Keita-Doe came out to support the organization and enjoy a little ballroom dancing.

Below: Lenora James, Camelia Cobb, and 2012 DWTPS winner Marian Tasco, who brought a whole table of friends along to enjoy the evening.

Below: Mary Harden and Rev. Zemoria Brandon.

Below: Debbie Maser, Lynne Maser, and Sharon and John Young are excited to see Alison Young on the dance floor.

Below: Khaila Edwards, PHLCVB, and fiance Brian Burke Green were excited to support a great cause and cheer on co-worker/friend Danielle Cohn, VP of marketing & communications at PHLCVB.

Below: Keith Leaphart, of Replica Creative, and contestant Danielle Cohn. Cohn went on to win the “People’s Favorite Award,” which was determined by voting on Twitter.

Below: Audrey Johnson Thornton, executive director of the Historic Belmont Mansion, and Bernard Thornton, with Michelle D. Ray.

Below: Zemoria A. Brandon, administrator/social worker and media relations liaison for the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, acknowledges Megan Smith, for creating Dancing With the Philadelphia Stars five years ago. NBC 10 news anchor Lori Wilson was the evening’s emcee.

Below: DWTPS judges State Senator Larry Farnese, Councilwoman (and former contestant) Blondell Reynolds Brown, Shawn Lamere Williams, artistic director at Eleone Dance Theatre, and LaDeva Davis, director of dance at the Philadelphia High School for Creative & Performing Arts. During the contest intermission, the Eleone Dance Company put on an energetic and technically magnificent performance, and got a standing ovation from the crowd.

Below: Contestant Kacie McDonnell, FOX 29 traffic reporter, and instructor Paul Samulenas, do the tango.

Below: Instructor Roxanne Pogue and contestant Albert Lee, community and content manager at Independence Visitor Center, wowed the crowd with their West Coast swing, danced to the Beatles’ “Twist and Shout.”

Below: Yael Lehman, executive director of the Food Trust, is doing the hustle with instructor Paul Samulenas, who was a dance partner for four of the ladies in the competition.

Below: Kacie McDonnell is announced as the third-place winner.

Below: Backstage, second-place winner Chris “Maxwell” Jones, and contestant Carrie Denny share a moment before taking a “selfie.”

Below: DWTPS 2013 winner Alison Young, with dance partner Paul Samulenas, wowed the judges with her foxtrot. Dancing With the Philadelphia Stars judge LaDeva Davis noted that it reminded her of her parents, as it was their favorite dance to do together. Lifting her to victory is fiance David Maser. They are getting married in November in Mexico. They just bought a house in Society Hill, and the newly acquired trophy will be the first thing they put on the mantel.

For videos of the evening’s dances, check out PhillyChitChat here!