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Dancing, friendly competition and supporting students brought out close to 300 people for “Dancing with the Scholars XIIII,” at THEARC on Nov. 4. An annual fundraiser hosted by the William O. Lockridge Community Foundation (WOLCF), Dancing with the Scholars honors the organization’s namesake, and celebrates his work, legacy and teachings.
“The very first time that I ever wanted to get involved in the community I was walking on Savannah Place, this was in 2000, and Mr. Lockridge walked to me and asked what I was doing. I was running for ANC at that time,” said Dr. Jacque Patterson, at-large representative on the D.C. State Board of Education (SBOE).
“‘Young man, let me tell you how to do this and how you serve your community,” Patterson said Lockridge told him. “From that time on, he served as a mentor to me. He didn’t care who you were. If you wanted to help the community, he was going to invest in you. He was amazing and I try hard every day to honor him on the SBOE.”
This year’s Dancing With the Stars theme was “Battle of the Schools,” and the program included a dance competition with students from first-place winners Ballou High School, second-place winners KIPPDC, and Anacostia High School, which placed third.
Judges for the evening were Patterson, D.C. Council Chair Phil Mendelson (D), and Eboni-Rose Thompson, who represents Ward 7 for the SBOE.
Returning as Mistress of Ceremonies was Britt Waters from ABC’s Good Morning Washington. The guest speaker was Dr. Maurice Edington, president of the University of the District of Columbia.
WOLCF recognized Martha’s Table at the Common for its work in the community.
In addition to the dance competition, Neema Dance Collective and Dj SaySay provided entertainment.
A highlight of the evening was when WOLCF founder and chairwoman Wanda D. Lockridge was recognized by President Joe Biden and presented with the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award for “building a stronger nation through volunteer service.”
The presentation was made by the Rev. Dr. George E. Holmes, president of the National Clergy Leadership Group.
“[Dancing what the Scholars] was awesome,” said Carol Holley, director of the Southeast Highland Community Center. “To know that this fundraising event raises money for our Wards 7 and 8 youth, it’s worth every dime donated. I thank the foundation for all it offers our kids.”
Source: Washington Informer