Dancing With The Stars Gala Wows Audience and Raises Funds for IVROP Foundation



HOLTVILLE — One ballroom. A packed house. Six celebrity dancers.

Barbara Worth Country Club was filled to the brim with fun, laughter and dance, as local celebrities and community advocates came out to support Imperial Valley Regional Occupational Program Community Foundation’s (IVROPCF) 8th Annual Scholarship Fundraising Event.

Attendance has grown each year, and the past two years have been the largest IVROP has seen, according to Wendy Ramirez of the IVROPCF.

Local “celebrities” shone on the dance floor, showing off their dancing skills and competing for the win. Ultimately, El Centro Elementary School District’s Associate Superintendent, Renato Montano, was crowned the night’s Dancing with the Stars Champion.

Many local celebrities volunteered for the event, held May 1, to support of the foundation. Local “superstars” included Michael Rood (County Counsel, County of Imperial), Betty Tucker (Board Member, Kiwanis and Navy League of El Centro), Renato Montano (Associate Superintendent, El Centro Elementary School District) Kris Becker (City Attorney, City of El Centro) Dr. Alvaro Camacho, MD (Sun Valley Behavioral Medical Center), and Maria J. Ambriz (Superintendent, Calexico Unified School District).

Rood stated that, for him, “it was time” to join the event. “It’s for students seeking help to advance” their lives, he said.

Betty Tucker said she believed the gala was a “way to bring the community together.”

An all-night occasion, the gala began at 6 p.m. with a red carpet entrance and no-host bar, and proceeded with a formal dinner and introduction to the event. The actual dancing portion and competition took place from 8 to 10 p.m., upon which the winner was crowned. The evening concluded with music and dancing that lasted until 1 a.m.

The IVROP Community Foundation was established in 2004 to “serve a growing need in our community” and “to help residents develop their educational and economic opportunities,” according to foundation press releases.

Students have an option of earning a “Career Readiness” Certificate, a national certificate from ACT that can be obtained by developing workforce preparation skills – both academic and interpersonal. The goal of the certificate is to show employers that these applicants have gone the extra mile, according to the foundation.