Shaggers to display fancy footwork for charity dance

Annual benefit raises funds for Make-A-Wish Foundation
Mar. 19, 2014 @ 05:00 AM

The Sanford Area Society of Shaggers is asking people to come out Saturday night to shake their hips and empty their wallets for a good cause.

Over the past 24 years, the group has raised more than $300,000 in its annual dances for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, as well as other local charities. Charles Neal, the club's president, said he hopes the upcoming 25th annual Shaggin' in the Sandhills brings in the most funds ever.

"We give all that money away," Neal said. "The only thing we keep is the cost of overhead of putting on something like this. The club doesn't keep anything."

This year's fundraiser dance will be from 7-11 p.m. Saturday at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased by calling Neal at (919) 499-7597 or Jeff Rosser at (919) 770-2646. They can also be bought for $25 at the door.

Besides the dancing, there will be a raffle, a silent auction and soft drinks available for purchase, all of which also will go toward the fundraiser. No alcohol will be served, although it is a BYOB event — and glass containers are strictly forbidden. Catered hors d'oeuvres will be served.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation helps children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases have one of their dreams come true, like visiting with a professional sports hero of theirs or even the meeting the president.

One of the Make-A-Wish recipients was the Boggs family from Broadway. Micah Boggs, now a freshman at Lee County High School, was diagnosed with leukemia in fourth grade.

His piano teacher at the time, Rosemary Parten, has been active in the Sanford Area Society of Shaggers for years, including a stint as chairman. She helped the Boggs through the process to get the Hawaiian vacation Micah always wanted.

They ended up going last year, just after Micah became cancer-free — but also just two years after his father was killed in a car accident. Micah's mother, Kim Boggs, said that with her family having lost a husband and dad while all also going through the stresses of Micah's cancer, the trip turned into a dream for the family.

"That trip was more than just a wish," she said. "It was a healing time for our whole family, so we're so grateful to them for making that possible for us."

She said the only person in the club they knew was Parten, so to see the rest of the group working hard to raise money for Micah's dream vacation was special.

"They don't know the families that they help, but they have the heart to help these families," Boggs said. "And for me as a mother who's seen my child like that, it just makes such a difference."

Parten said that in addition to Micah, the club has helped two local girls get a Make-A-Wish dream. Children also have been helped in nearby counties when there was no one to help locally.

"We have probably raised and donated more than any of the other 100 Carolina shag clubs," Parten said. "And we're very proud of that."

Saturday's event typically draws people from a wide area, and the local Hampton Inn, Comfort Suites and Holiday Inn Express all have special rates for out-of-town attendees. Neal said this is the first year the club has held the dance at the civic center instead of the Elks Lodge, but a growing crowd necessitated the change.

"We're hoping to have about 500 or 600 people," he said. "With Jim Quick and Coastline, and all the food, were hoping it'll be big."

It's also not just for people who can shag, Neal said. Anyone ages 16 and up can come and do whatever kind of dance they know best. The DJ will start at 7 p.m., and Jim Quick and Coastline, a beach music, blues and rock band, will take over from 8-11 p.m.



What: 25th annual Shaggin' in the Sandhills, with a DJ and live music from Jim Quick and Coastline

When: 7-11 p.m. Saturday

Where: Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center

Why: To raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and other charities

Tickets: Call Charles Neal at (919) 499-7597, or Jeff Rosser at (919) 770-2646, to buy a $20 ticket