So you think you can dance?

Local politicians will be among those participating in Golden West College's 17th annual 'Dancing for the Stars' event.

April 01, 2014|By Rhea Mahbubani
  • Huntington Beach City Councilman Joe Carchio rehearses with his fiance Judith Rosser with instruction from Oleg Suvorov at Dance All You Can in Fountain Valley on Tuesday, April 1. The Golden West College Foundation hosts its 17th annual fundraiser with a "Dancing for the Stars" theme on Saturday. (Scott Smeltzer - Huntington Beach Independent)
Huntington Beach City Councilman Joe Carchio rehearses… (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

If Edward Van Ornum's father were given an option between attending a party or cutting off his hand, he'd probably ask, "Which hand?"

Growing up, Van Ornum, of Newport Beach, found that he similarly had little social life. He'd go to school, followed by work and then return home. The pattern would be repeated the next day.

Deciding he didn't want to become a hermit, he picked up dance. In the more than three decades since, he's mastered the waltz, foxtrot, cha cha, samba and hustle, and eventually became a teacher, at studios in Newport Beach and Costa Mesa.

Come Saturday, the 55-year-old will take the stage with Debbie Stocker of Shinoda Design Center, whom he has known for more than 10 years. The duo will perform a 2 1/2-minute routine comprising Argentine and international tango at the Golden West College Foundation's 17th annual "Dancing for the Stars" fundraiser at 5:30 p.m. at the Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort.


Five couples will participate, including former Huntington Beach Mayor Shirley Dettloff and her husband, Bob, and Councilman Joe Carchio and his fiancee, Judith Rosser.

"I knew Debbie wanted to support the college, and I wanted to support her supporting the college," Van Ornum remarked. "I'm happy when dancing can be used as something other than livelihood and can be of help to [someone]."

According to the foundation's director, Bruce Berman, all proceeds from the upcoming event will benefit scholarships and programs for students. The funds will also go toward creating an endowment, which staff and faculty members can apply to for mini-grants to aid professional development, purchase classroom materials and more.

"A lot of galas that people go to are very formal in nature," he remarked. "This is one where people can come and have fun. Not only are they donating money, either through the purchase of tickets or auction items, but they're also having a good time."

The fundraiser, which Berman said will allow student leaders to mingle with and thank donors, will kick off with a silent auction. Tickets to sporting events, theater shows and winery tours, a holiday in a Big Bear cabin and trips to Hawaii and New York City are a few items up for grabs. The black-tie event's title sponsor, Elmore Toyota, has donated a 2015 Scion FRS sports car, and attendees can purchase a $100 ticket to be included in the raffle.

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