Dancing with Stars steps aside for ‘Tonight Show’ after $290K haul | SummitDaily.com

Dancing with Stars steps aside for ‘Tonight Show’ after $290K haul

The 10th and final installment of Dancing with Mountain Stars on Saturday has raised $290,000 in support of the St. Anthony Summit Medical Center Health Foundation, but that total is expected to rise with gifts still coming in.

"We are still working on the final number, but we're very happy with it," said Amanda Popp, event planner.

It's not the most money they've ever raised through the event that's modeled after the hit ABC reality TV show, but, Popp said, "It's up there."

Unlike previous years, the grand finale was no contest. Instead, the event at the Keystone Conference Center on Saturday was billed as a showcase of talent from the last nine years, and it featured more than 40 returning community stars dancing group numbers choreographed by Summit County native Mandy Moore.

There was a surprise performance by Paul Chodkowski, president and CEO of St. Anthony Summit Medical Center, and Deb Edwards, who's credited with creating the long-standing event.

Also on Saturday, Vail Resorts EpicPromise matched a $15,000 donation from the audience to help pay for a new Flight For Life ambulance. Meanwhile, proceeds from ticket sales, a drawing for a stay-cation and the silent auction will benefit the people, places and programs of Summit Medical Center in the coming year.

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In retiring the Dancing with the Mountain Stars event, officials at the foundation unveiled next year's big fundraiser: "The Tonight Show with Summit Medical Center" on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018.

Popp said next year's fundraiser will come in a similar format as "The Tonight Show," with an opening monologue, a house band and guest interviews with fun and games mixed in for the audience.

"We will use it to highlight the programs and fundraising priorities for Summit Medical Center and to celebrate the work we've done in the past year," Popp said of the new event. "We are essentially going to replicate 'The Tonight Show' in the spirit of Johnny Carson, Jimmy Fallon and Jay Leno."

At the end of the night, the house band will lead an open dance party, Popp added, saying that it has been one of the highlights of the foundation's fundraiser every year, "so we'll continue that tradition for sure."

As far as the host goes, Popp said there's a short list of potential candidates, but no one has been confirmed just yet.

A more formal invitation will go out next summer.

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