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Ward-Baxley dance partners are preparing for the win

on Tuesday, 27 February 2018. Posted in Good life, News, Local News

Ward-Baxley dance partners are preparing for the win

By BRENDA HARRISON Editor of The News Journal Florence, S.C.

Les Ward and Mallory Baxley plan to compete in Dancing For Our Future Stars with a jive dance routine to the music of “Greased Lightning.”

Les, who works for Pepsi, admits dancing is out of his comfort zone, but he is “in it for the win.”

“I’m ultra competitive,” he said.

Learning the dance is hard, he said, but he is happy to be participating for this School Foundation event because it is a good cause and it’s for the kids.

His wife Heather is very encouraging, he commented. She is a speech pathologist for special needs kids at FSD1. The couple have three children participating in the IB programs at Williams Middle School and Wilson High School. Their oldest is attending Clemson University.

Les jokes that his boss “volun-told” him for this event.

Mallory is a senior at South Florence High and is considering a career in the medical field. She is looking at Furman University and North Greenville University for the fall.

She has been studying dance since age 2 and competing with Kelley Fine Arts for seven years. This will be her first DFOFS competition in Florence, but she has competed in similar events in Bishopville and Cheraw.

Also competitive Mallory is a good match for her partner Les.

The local celebrities and their professional dance partners will square-off at the SiMT for a chance to win the coveted mirror ball trophy at this 8th annual dance competition on March 22. A reception will begin at 6 p.m. followed by the competition at 7 p.m. Guests will enjoy food, beverages, fellowship, and an opportunity to win a custom designed jewelry piece donated by Lisa and Lex Matthews of Southern Jewelry Design.

The remaining dance couples for this year’s event are:

• Dr. Lisa Bishara (McLeod Health) and Joseph Steen

• Ken Baker (WMBF News) and Mary Grace Colburn

• Louie Callahan (Burch Oxner Seale Co., CPAs) and Alexis McDonald

• Ron Glancy (Raines Hospitality) and Tiffany Welsh

• David Hall (First Reliance Bank) and Erin Haynes

• Dr. Ramzy Hourany (Carolinas Hospital System) and Julia Thompson

• Jammie McDonald (First Citizens Bank) and Cole Davis

• Joey McMillan (Coldwell Banker McMillan and Associates) and Katelyn Rodgers

• Dr. Calvin Robinson (Trinity Baptist Church) and Fallon Frierson

• Chris Rogers (Carver Elementary School) and Morgan Truitt

• Robbie Timms (BB&T) and Meggie Baker

Fans can vote online for their favorite couple(s) at for $10 per vote. The “People’s Choice” mirror ball trophies will be awarded to the three couples raising the most votes.

A panel of judges will name one couple “Technical Skills Winner” based on the contestants’ overall skills. One couple will also be chosen as “Most Entertaining” by the judges. Dancers receiving the largest number of online votes will be awarded the “Social Stars” trophy.

School Foundation board member Ed Love and local celebrity Audra Coble will serve as master and mistress of ceremonies. The 2017 celebrities will perform the opening act and the KFA Fierce Team will provide special entertainment throughout the evening.

All proceeds from this major fund-raising event will go to The School Foundation. Founded in 2000, the foundation promotes educational excellence in Florence, SC School District 1 through grants for innovative learning and through high impact initiatives designed to prepare all students for success.

To date, the foundation has provided over $1,355,377 in grants to FSD1 educators and is currently leading a school readiness awareness campaign focusing on preparing all children to enter kindergarten with the skills needed to succeed. The foundation also launched Start2Read, a program that distributes age appropriate books and reading tips in local businesses.

To learn more about The School Foundation, visit their website at

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