Seven dancing couples from Ada will compete in a "Dancing with the Stars"-inspired fundraiser to raise money for Mama T’s Bread and Blessings homeless shelter for the second year in a row.
Mama T’s presents “Hollywood Nights” Dancing for a cause at at 7 p.m. Friday at East Central University’s Foundation Hall.
Tickets are $50 for a single person or $100 for couples. The tickets must be purchased before the event due to limited seating. There are 250-275 seats available for the event.
Judy Cantrell, secretary and treasurer on the board of Mama T’s, stated, “You can go to our website (https://www.mamatsada.com) and purchase tickets online by choosing the Gala button," said Judy Cantrell, secretary and treasurer on the Mama T's board.
Tickets can also be purchased over the phone by calling (580) 279-0193.
“I would love for the public to call the number to purchase tickets to support Mama T’s and have a fun evening,” said Cantrell.
Mandy Horne, a dance instructor from Ada, has volunteered her time to coach the seven couples and turn them into professional performers.
“Mandy Horne is the dance instructor. She is a national-winning dancer," said Cantrell. "It would be difficult to do something like this without Mandy. She will turn a couple that has never danced before into great performers.”
Horne stated that it is a huge commitment for the couples who agree to dance.
“They absolutely amaze me," she said. "They put in so much time between lessons and practicing.”
Cantrell bragged about Horne and her ability to make this event a success by choreographing dancers. But Horne said this couldn't happen without the hard work of the couples.
Horne said she would love to come back and teach next year as well, if they want her to.
“I think Mama T’s is a wonderful facility. I love the way it's helping turn many lives around," said Horne. "God blessed me and gave me the talent of dance. I love when I can use it to glorify him and help others.”
Meet the 2019 dancers
• Esther and Josh Davis reside in Ada with their two children, Jace and Olivia, and two dogs, Lexi and Duke. They both work for the Chickasaw Nation and are involved in many extracurricular activities. They are very competitive and enjoy all sports. The are not dance experts but love the idea of trying something new for a cause like Mama T’s and dancing the cha-cha.
• Charity and Chris Eakens have three beautiful children, McKinley, Walker and Jett. The couple owns Twenty-Five Trading Co., and Charity is the director of Indian Education for Ada City Schools. This couple loves supporting their community and is looking forward to dancing the fox trot.
• Lisa and Thomas John are the proud parents of Lauren and Trevor. They both work for the Chickasaw Nation within Community Services and Culture & Humanities. Tom is a Seneca citizen, originally from Salamanca, New York state. Lisa is a Chickasaw citizen from Ada. They have been married for 18 years, enjoy an active lifestyle and are excited to add dancing the salsa at this year’s gala to their long list of activities.
• Amber and Shaun Keiser are the parents of five amazing girls, along with an angel baby in heaven. They are active members of their church, where Amber is the secretary and communications director. Shaun works as a manager at Love's on Mississippi. They love supporting their community in between Girl Scouts, softball and church and are excited to dance the merengue at this year’s Gala.
• Crystal Lamb has been the executive director at Mama T’s B&B since their opening in 2016. Mike Wingo, a proud Chickasaw, has worked for the Chickasaw Nation since 2001. Mike enjoys raising awareness and funds for cancer research and travels to cities across the U.S. to promote this cause. Crystal and Mike are looking forward to entertaining people with the swing dance at this year’s Gala.
• Duawn Mearns is the pastor of the Covenant Church of Ada. He is married to his wife, Honey, and they have three beautiful daughters. Duawn will be dancing with daughter Anna, who is a ninth-grader at Latta. Anna loves dancing and is very involved in their church. This father-daughter duo will be dancing the waltz.
• Monica and Rob Neal both graduated from Ada High School and attended East Central University. Monica graduated from ECU and has enjoyed serving the community in professional and personal roles since the early '90s. Rob graduated from OU and OU Law and has been in private practice in Ada for more than 20 years. They have four children and three grandchildren and love traveling together. Come see them dance the rumba.
Goal for the gala
The goal for the gala is to help raise money for Mama T’s Bread and Blessings, which needs the help of the community to help the less fortunate of Ada.
“If people would realize what we are doing, I think we would get more funding," said Cantrell. "But it is crucial we have the funding to keep helping people in Ada.”
With the colder months approaching, the staff of Mama T’s won’t turn anyone away. They have an overflow room to house more people if needed. This can only be possible if the funding is there to ensure security for the staff and residents.
How to donate
“If people would donate monthly, it would help us meet our monthly budget," said Cantrell. "You can go online to our Facebook page or our website to donate monthly to Mama T’s.”
If you are interested in participating next year as a dancer, contact Cantrell at Judykcantrell@gmail.com.