The University of Central Florida College of Nursing will be one of four regional nursing programs to participate in “Let Us Entertain You,” an annual dance challenge fundraiser being held by Femmes de Coeur (Women of Heart) on Sunday, May 20.
The ballroom dance challenge will feature prominent members of the community paired with professional dancers similar to the popular television program “Dancing with the Stars.” Through ticket sales, live and silent auctions and a “Vote with Your Dollars” competition, the event will benefit scholarships at Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences, Seminole State College, Valencia College and the UCF College of Nursing.
Femmes de Coeur is a nonprofit fundraising organization that started in 1999.
“Our goal is to raise funds for Central Florida organizations to help research and treat disease and alleviate personal and emotional suffering, so we try to pick things that fit our mission and goals,” said Judy Conrad, chair for the “Let Us Entertain You” event since 2008.
Conrad said she came up with the idea for the dance challenge because she wanted to do something bigger for nursing scholarships in a way that related to her interest in ballroom dancing. This is the event’s fifth year.
Participants in this year’s challenge include Valerie Greene, founder of BCenter.com for Stroke Awareness, UCF alumna and Miss Florida USA 2010 Megan Clementi, and Derrick LaCapra, founder of Vicious Fitness. One faculty member from each nursing program will also participate in the challenge, including Debra Hunt, assistant professor at the UCF College of Nursing.
Though the College of Nursing has participated in this fundraiser for several years, this is Hunt’s first time dancing in the event.
“It looks like a lot of fun,” said Hunt. “I like to dance and it’s a great way to raise money for nursing scholarships. UCF has never won, so my partner and I are determined to win the challenge this year.”
Hunt said that thanks to this event, several scholarships have been given out to students in various stages of the nursing program. The event usually generates between $7,000 and $10,000 for the UCF College of Nursing; all money raised goes toward the Femmes de Coeur Endowed Nursing Scholarship.