Burju Perez and Burju Shoes give back to community in a fun way!

Burju Perez and Burju Shoes give back to community in a fun way!

April 7th, 2018

Emmaus' 4th Annual Stepping Out with the Merrimack Valley Stars.

This event is to raise money for Emmaus, a non-profit organization with the following mission:

We affirm the value of human dignity and self-respect for every person. We are called by our collective spiritual and social responsibility to serve all people in need—the homeless, disadvantaged, disabled, unemployed, and oppressed. Our goal is to enhance societal and personal advancement through provision of housing and support services that empower individuals and families to reach their fullest potential.

Emmaus helps people rebuild their lives by creating and renewing a sense of community.

The results...

Congratulations to Haverhill Country Club's Executive Chef Travis Brown who was named “Dance Champion” at Emmaus’ 4th Annual "Stepping Out with the Valley Stars" on Saturday night! He and his dance partner Angie Egea dazzled the crowd with their creative Flamenco number.

Emmaus is incredibly grateful to all our celebrity dancers: Salvatore DeFranco, co-owner of Battle Grounds Coffee Company, Christine Doucette, Merrimack Valley Federal Credit Union's Seabrook Branch Manager, Melissa Kilday from the Cambridge Network, Matt Hooper, Spin Instructor at The Inner Cycle, Amesbury, Emily Cassista, teacher at Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School, and of course Travis for stepping out of their comfort zones and onto the stage! And we thank their partners: Angie Egea, “G” Rossignol, Audrey Guerrero, Justin Penney, Michelle Garcia and Julian De Las Nieves for serving as their professional partners and teaching them some new moves!

We also thank our Elite Sponsors: Merrimack Valley Federal Credit Union, United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, and Burju Perez of Burju Shoes. Burju’s talents as the events creative director are immeasurable and make this event possible each and every year. Burju also choreographed the amazing opening number that featured the professional dancers and designed the table centerpieces!

We also want to thank Ron Carpenito, and NBC Boston reporter Katherine Underwood for again serving as co-hosts, Blue Ocean Event Center for their generosity and hospitality, our judges: Northern Essex Community College President Lane Glenn, Jackie Bannister, owner of Annie's Hallmark Baldoria, Victor Perez and Dr. Karen Holmes. Karen was last year’s champion and she took to the stage first this year to show our couples what a winning dance performance looks like!

Many thanks to our incredible event committee, volunteers, sponsors, and the more than 200 businesses and individuals that donated to our silent and live auctions and prize drawings.

And a special thank you to our “Stepping Out with the Valley Stars” photo squad: Allegra Boverman of Allegra Boverman Photography, Steve Van Seters and Nicole Goodhue Boyd. They captured every aspect of the evening! We’re posting just a few of the thousands of photos they took! More photos will be available soon on our Flckr page!

Finally, we hope all who attended had a fabulous time and we are truly grateful for your continued support of our mission. Please join us again next year!

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