CLEAR LAKE, Iowa - It's a Saturday night of socializing, food, and dancing at the Surf Ballroom.
The 11th annual "Dancing for the Dream" benefits services at the North Iowa Vocational Center, or NIVC.
Terry and Brenda Wisner are one of several couples dancing to raise money for the organization that helps find jobs and services for those with disabilities in North Iowa. Terry himself has some family history tied to dancing at the historic venue.
"My folks, bless their hearts since they're gone now, but they spent almost every Saturday night coming to the Surf for over 50 years. I have a picture of them here in the 40s and when they came back in the 90s."
And now, they're dancing in a competition for a great reason.
"Someone wants to work, they want to make a difference and have a chance to make an occupational difference. Not to get a freebie, but actually do some work and get trained, and this is a great opportunity to do that," Terry said.
"When I'm at Hy-Vee, I've seen some of them, and I think it's great, I think it's wonderful for them to work," Brenda said.
NIVC Executive Director Sherry Becker says the fundraiser came from a unique idea.
"Our fund development officer came up with the idea. "Dancing with the Stars" had already taken off, so this is our version of it."
Last year’s fundraiser brought in over $70,000, and Becker says their services rely on generous donations from the people of North Iowa.
"We don't turn people away. When they come to us for support, even if they don't have the traditional types of funding, we try to help them work. We help them be successful. We're really proud of that, and that's because of the generosity of North Iowa."
In addition, with the merger of NIVC and the North Iowa Transition Center, Becker announced that the combined organization would be renamed "43 North Iowa", named for the state's position on the 43rd parallel.
Also, the Wisner's ended up winning the dancing competition.
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