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Dancing with the Reading Stars

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Shawn Barczynski and Nicole Vega

Shawn and Nicole are super excited to bust a move and dance their hearts out!  They are both members of the Board of Directors for The LGBT Center of Greater Reading.  Nicole is a newer member of the BOD and sits on the Diversity and Inclusion, Program and Education, and Fundraising Committees. 

Shawn is an Assistant Director of Admission & Assistant Coach of the women’s basketball team at Albright College. Shawn is also a member of multiple community organizations. (Unity within the Community, LGBT Center of Greater Reading). Shawn enjoys sports, laughing with friends, music and is very family oriented. “I’m the baby of 8 siblings, my push is to always giveback & spread kindness to impact others!”

Nicole is a licensed social worker whose work in the community consists of advocating for patients and their family members to receive quality health care.  Nicole enjoys being outdoors, baking and reading.  Nicole is married and has two wonderful daughters, and everything she does is for them.  “Reach for the stars my girls, as your story is yet to be written!” 

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MaCherie Dunbar and Bethany Bower

Bethany and MaCherie are colleagues and friends whose paths align as members of the Board of Directors for The LGBT Center of Greater Reading.  Bethany sits on the Executive Committee for the Center and co-chairs the Program and Education Committees.  MaCherie, a newer member of the BOD, chairs the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Bethany currently works for Co-County Wellness Services as the Project Manager of the Berks Teens Matter initiative.  She has been an advocate for the LGBTIA+ community for over 13 years as a volunteer and educator.  In her free time, Bethany enjoys reading and spending time with her family.

MaCherie is an Air Force combat veteran whose work has centered around advocacy and politics. She’s family oriented and, after 7 years in Alaska, has become an outdoor enthusiast. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, adventures with her black lab, and spending time with friends.

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Guy and Ryan Griffin-Silveri

Guy Griffin-Silveri and Ryan Griffin-Silveri have been married for almost 6 years and been together for eleven. They adopted their little girl, Riley Marie, officially in January 2018. She is now 3 and keeps them on their toes!

Guy Griffin-Silveri has worked at Amazon (at different locations) for 8 years. He enjoys baking and actually has baked wedding cakes, enjoys theater and got a theater degree from Susquehanna University. He also enjoys the outdoors going on hikes, camping, and kayaking.

Ryan Griffin-Silveri currently interns at the LGBTQ Center while working on his BSW and co-facilitates the Tuesday VOICES group. He enjoys cooking, reading, and also doing outdoor activities including going camping, hiking, and kayaking.

Both recently bought a camper and are looking forward to getting out in PA this year exploring to see everything the state has to offer.

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Jason and Amy Hendrix

By day, Dr. Jason and Amy Hendrix provide skin care to the residents of greater Berks County at Reading Dermatology Associates (RDA) in West Lawn.  By night, they have “happy feet”, honing in on their dancing skills as their goal is to become the winning team at Dancing with the Reading Stars! 

Jason Hendrix, DO, is the primary provider of skin care to its family of patients at RDA since 2008.  His wife Amy, is a CRNP in the dermatology practice specializing in cosmetic skin care and anti-aging treatments that “gently soften the aging process”.  Do we have to say it?  There’s no doubt they both have skin in the game, and apparently some dancing chops to boot! 

Dr. Hendrix’s training and strong surgical background is the basis for his skill in treatment of skin diseases and all dermatological conditions, including skin cancer.  Prior to medical school, Dr. Hendrix served in the United States Navy where he credits his experience to developing the necessary qualities to become the physician he is today.  He prides himself on patient satisfaction and loyalty.

Amy Hendrix has been passionate about skin care since the beginning of her medical career.  While a CRNP at RDA, she developed her own business, Elegance Derma Spa, providing custom cosmetic skin care and anti-aging treatments.  Elegance Derma Spa merged with RDA to form Reading Dermatology Medical, Cosmetic and Skin Cancer Center, affording them the opportunity to provide even more medical-based, cutting edge skin care treatments.  Amy’s goal is perfection in medical as well as cosmetic results and patient happiness.  Oh yeah, AND TO WIN DWTRS!  

Jason loves to work out and Amy’s an avid tennis player.  In addition to being a husband/wife team that runs a thriving medical practice, they’re also the proud parents of four children!  So how do they find time to dance?  Stay tuned… they’ll be the team to beat!    

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Holly James and Chris Madara

Holly (Allwein) James has been teaching since the age of sixteen and here at the Yocum Institute since 1999 where she began her dance training with Cheri Noble, of Pennsylvania Ballet.  Holly  was an original member of Berks Ballet Theatre where she was a soloist, guest artist, ballet mistress and teacher.  Her roles include: Sugar Plum in their first Nutcracker production; Snow Queen, and Fairy Godmother in Cinderella.  She has an extensive background as a performing ballerina, dancer and instructor in ballet, modern and jazz dance.  She started her BFA in Dance / Ballet at  Point Park University in Pittsburgh; completed her degree at The University of Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music in 1983, and pursued her MA Dance there as well.  She has trained with numerous teachers including:  David Howard, Melissa Hayden, Luigi, James Truitte, Nicholas Petrov, Gus Giordano, Oleg Sabline, Joe Lanteri, Maryland Ballet, among many others.  Holly’s accomplishments include: DMA 1985 Chapter 25 Contestant for Miss Dance of America where she finished in the top ten finalists; performing semi-professionally with The American Dance Ensemble (Pittsburgh, PA) and professionally with The Cincinnati Opera Ballet (AGMA Union).  Holly holds her PA certification as a Special Education Paraeducator and facilitates inclusion in the arts whenever possible.

Chris Madara is a Reading native who graduated from Reading High School and then attended Drexel University in Philadelphia. Chris has had a diverse professional life and has been a financial consultant, mortgage broker, restaurant/hotel owner, chef, zoning officer, contractor and currently is a hard-working real estate agent at Bold Realty in West Reading. He is also the proud father of Ethan, Alexi and Cameron Madara. Additionally Chris is an active participant in a local pool league, enjoys the occasional game of golf and has taught chess. Dancing is a relatively new endeavor for him and one that is worth pursuing.

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Dillon and Emily Kenniston

Dillon Kenniston is a registered investment advisor with Robustwealth, Inc. During his career, Kenniston has also held roles at Houston Independent School District, Your Team Tutor, Digital Media Academy and Robustwealth, Inc. He holds two Bachelor Degrees from Penn State Berks in Communications and Professional Writing, a Master’s Degree from St. Thomas University in Education Leadership, and a Master of Divinity Degree in Theology from Westminster Theological Seminary. He also spent time as both a fitness and a chess instructor in the past and is a licensed Pennsylvania realtor (Lighthouse Realty).

Emily Kenniston currently holds the title of Mrs. Reading International, and will be competing for the title of Mrs. Pennsylvania International in April 2021. As a graduate of Penn State Berks, she enjoys strong ties to the community. After receiving her degree in Elementary Education from PSU Berks, she taught at St. Ignatius Loyola Regional School and worked for Sacred Heart school for several years. After a six-year period of living in first Philadelphia, then Doylestown, Emily was delighted to return home to Berks County in 2020. 

In addition to representing Reading in the Mrs. Pennsylvania International Pageant, Emily has over a decade of experience as a model, actress, and is an accomplished operatic soprano. She is also a reporter for Berks Weekly, and an aspiring novelist whose debut psychological thriller is currently being edited for publication. Emily also spends time volunteering across Pennsylvania as a “professional princess”, using the magic of beloved characters to spread God’s love to children everywhere. 

More important to Emily than any of these accomplishments, however, is her true vocation: that of loving wife to her college sweetheart and partner of 13 years, Dillon, and mommy to her three year old daughter, Brielle. 

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JR and Emilee Koch

Emilee Koch is no stranger to performing for an audience.  Emilee has been performing on stage as an actress, dancer, and singer since the age of five.  Emilee’s favorite style of dance is tap, and she most recently spent three years in a competitive dance company earning several regional and national awards.

Emilee has worked with several local community theater groups and she is very active at Yocum.  In addition to taking tap lessons, she is currently part of the Junior Theater Ensemble and the IMPROV! Performance Troupe.  Emilee has been in several productions at Yocum, including productions such as “Visions of Sugar Plums”, as well as productions for Primary Stages and the Broadway Junior series.

Emilee is a 6th grade student at Wilson West where she is a member of select chorus, regular chorus and band.  In addition to dance and theater lessons, she takes voice and drum lessons.  Emilee most recently competed at the Pennsylvania National American Miss pageant where she placed as a top ten finalist and she received the 1st runner up award in the actress category.

In the future, Emilee would like to study law and theater.

Charles “JR” Koch has been a salesman for Colonial Electric for the last 20 years.  Like his daughter, Emilee, JR is no stranger to the stage.  In his youth, JR spent many years taking dance and martial arts lessons and was active at Wilson High School in the theater department.  When JR isn’t working, he enjoys playing golf and spending time with his friends and family.

JR, Emilee, and Tracie (JR’s wife and Emilee’s mom) reside in Wernersville.

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Ginelle and Eric Miller

Ginelle and Eric Miller spent years living in the same small town of Hamburg, PA unaware of one another. It wasn’t until one fateful day the two would meet, lock eyes, and fall deeply in love. They couldn’t be more opposite from one another if they tried but it’s also their greatest strength. As a couple, for what one lacks the other makes up for in spades.

Ginelle and Eric started their beautiful blended family 12 years ago. They have a 17-year-old son, 14-year-old daughter, and 13-year-old Toy Fox Terrier. Both Eric and Ginelle work full-time while Ginelle also owns and operates her own business going 11 years strong and is a local radio personality whose voice can be heard on Blast Radio FM. Eric works in juvenile justice and Ginelle works as a manager in corporate recruiting, Her natural love for life keeps the family in a fast paced, fun environment.

Ginelle started dancing professionally 16 years ago. She managed and choreographed for several sports dance teams and spent much of her 20’s teaching dance in several studios throughout the county. Her primary style is hip hop but she has a love for Polynesian, jazz, pole, and Latin. Eric has been by her side for most of her dance journey and now it is time for him to be next to her on the dance floor.

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Kate Peires and Tim Greusel

Kate and Tim have a sustained friendship that dates back 60 years when they met in Sunday School, and know each other well – long enough to sometimes finish each other’s sentences. 

Kate, a resident of Muhlenberg Twp. is an oncology acute care nurse practitioner with Penn State Cancer Institute. Tim lives in Sinking Spring and is the owner of QEST, a consulting firm that conducts outcomes-based evaluations of social service programs throughout Southeastern PA.

Kate and her husband Michael share their home with two cats, Daphne and Indiana and their dog, Baby. She is active with Calvary Lutheran Church in Laureldale. She enjoys travel, reading, baking, any kind of cultural event and spending time with family and friends. Kate sits on the Boards of Bethany Children’s Home and Co-County Wellness Services. 

Tim and his husband, Ed, live with two ancient terriers, Freda and Sophia. They are “foodies”, love to travel, enjoy music, outdoor activities, going to live concerts and spending time with their daughter, Erin. He is the Board President of the LGBT Center of Greater Reading and he also serves on the Board of Co-County Wellness Services. 

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Helene Reeser & Erich Cawalla


Dancing with the Reading Stars is turning 10 this year, and our main event will be held outside at the Yocum Institute on Saturday evening, May 22nd!

Shawn Barczynski and Nicole Vega
MaCherie Dunbar and Bethany Bower
Guy and Ryan Griffin-Silveri
Jason and Amy Hendrix
Holly James and Chris Madara
Dillon and Emily Kenniston
JR and Emilee Koch
Ginelle and Eric Miller
Kate Peires and Tim Greusel
Helene Reeser and Erich Cawalla


 

How Does Dancing with the Reading Stars work?
Dancing with the Reading Stars (DWTRS) involves a dozen dance pairs from throughout the county representing our diverse community.  In addition to creating a 90 second dance routine that is performed via live stream on Saturday, May 22, each pair solicits sponsorships and votes. The public is encouraged to raise funds by placing votes of $10 for the pair(s) of your choice. Votes can be done online, sent through the mail or by calling the Yocum Institute. Voting closes with the live streamed performances the night of the event.

Dancers choose their own music and either create their own routine, or work with a Yocum Institute choreographer to assist them in developing a routine. This is not just about dancing; it’s about fun and fundraising! In our first year in 2011, the event sold out with 450 attendees and netting over $45,000 for community programs. By 2019, the audience grew to over 500 and raised $120,000. Our 10th anniversary event will be held outside in a tented, socially distanced venue at Yocum Institute’s new home.

Event details:
The 2021 10th Anniversary Ticket Prices are $100 per ticket. Tables of 8, 6 and 4 are available for $800, $600, and $400. Cocktail tables for 2 will also be provided throughout the space. Each dance pair has the option to purchase 1 table. All tables are filled on a first-come, first-served basis, and tables MUST be reserved and paid for by April 1. After this date, all remaining tables will be released for purchase by the general public. A list of who will be seated at each table must be submitted no later than May 3. Prior to April 1, please reserve tables by contacting Wendy Kershner at wkershner@yocuminstitute.org or call 610-376-1576. After April 1, remaining tables and individual tickets may be purchased online at www.yocuminstitute.org.

This year the live streaming event can also be viewed remotely. Link requests to sfehnel@yocuminstitute.org will be fulfilled the week of the event. Additionally we’re offering “Party-in-a-Box” support options for $25 and $50. The $50 Deluxe Box includes snacks and adult beverages. Purchase a Party-in-a-Box 

Please consider being a sponsor and/or placing an ad in our program book to support your favorite pair and Yocum!

If you would like more details contact Wendy Kershner at wkershner@yocuminstitute.org or call 610-376-1576.

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