SuperTalk Mississippi

Dancing with the Real Stars to support Civitan Camp

Photo courtesy Telesouth Communications INC

You’ve seen the hit show “Dancing with the Stars” that features teams of professional dancers and celebrities vying for the trophy and bragging rights of the ballroom.

Dancing with the REAL Stars, and event taking place in Hattiesburg Thursday night, has a different approach.

Celebrities and Mississippi natives such as Brett and Deanna Favre, former Southern Miss Administrator Dr. Joe Paul, Katie Dixon, a finalist on MasterChef, and others will be teaming up with campers from the Abbie Rogers Civitan camp to help raise money for the camp to return to a beloved tradition.

“Our founder Abbie Rogers wanted to see these campers in primitive camping,” said Terri Daniels, one of the coordinators of the camp.

However, the campers have cognitive disabilities, and many have physical disabilities as well. In order for primitive camping to take place, the tents would need to be modified for accessibility and safety.

“When we built these tents, we used big tents from Camp Shelby,” said Daniels. “We need platforms to go under tents, and ramps as well. That will protect them from the elements, critters, and make it easier accessibility.”

The camp, based in Hattiesburg, services adult and children camps for three weeks every year for campers all across the southern portion of Mississippi.

“We’ve had people from out-of-state request to join us,” said Daniels. “But our local needs have just grown so much.”

Daniels said events like Dancing with the REAL Stars helps fund the camp, but many don’t realize that the reaches of the camp surpass the three week window of service.

“What happens at camp,” said Daniels. “You get people with disabilities and people without, and they learn to work together. And that continues beyond camp, all year long, and changing lives. Then you see the inclusivity in the community.”

Daniels said the camp may be limited to the campground, but the reaches of it go much further.

“Hattiesburg is one of the most inclusive places I’ve ever heard of,” said Daniels. “And I absolutely believe Civitan Camp is a big contributor of that. It’s not just three weeks, it’s a life-changing impact.”

For more information on Civitan Camp, click here.

Here’s how you can be part of the Dancing with the REAL Stars event.

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