ST. CLOUD (WJON News) -- A water safety program for young children is one of the organizations benefiting from this year's Women's Fund Presents Dancing With Our Stars event.

Community Dancer Cathy Elness is the Director of Healthy Living at the St. Cloud Area YMCA. The charity she is raising money for is the YMCA's Girls Safety Around Water program.

She says the program teaches water safety and swim lessons to every second grader in the St. Cloud Area School District.

They are coming to our Y, so they are busing the kids to the Y, they do the program at the Y with teachers that are in the water with them and then they go back to school.  The cost is the busing, and each kid gets a swim suit, goggles, and all the things they need to do the program.

Elness says they have about 640 kids in the program this year and they are in the third year of the program.

She has a fundraiser called Cycle for a Cause coming up on Sunday, May 5th.

Her professional partner is Jeff Ringer and their style of dance is going to be a samba.

I wanted to do Latin of some sort.  I have a dance background but not in ballroom.  That's why I wanted to do something that was more of a challenge so that I could learn something new and really have fun with it.

WJON's News @ Noon show is featuring each of this year's community dancers.  Previous stories include:
Steve Jones - United Way
Brady DeGagne - Boys & Girls Clubs 

The Dancing With Our Stars event is on Monday, June 10th at the College of St. Benedict. Get tickets


This Year’s Dancers

  • Community Star Michelle Meier with Arbor Hair Studio will dance with pro Tuan (David) Le to benefit the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation for its Camp Oasis Summer Program for Girls. Click here to donate
  • Community Star Cathy Elness with the St. Cloud Area YMCA will dance with pro Jeff Ringer to benefit the YMCA’s Girls ‘Safety Around Water’ (SAW) program. Click here to donate
  • Community Star Debra Leigh with the St. Cloud Technical and Community College will dance with pro Lee Morgan for Women’s Leadership Pathways at the SCTCC Multicultural Center. Click here to donate
  • Community Star Steve Jones with the United Way of Central Minnesota will dance with pro Janell Missler to benefit the United Way’s Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library for Girls. Click here to donate
  • Community Star Jim Maurice with WJON will dance with pro Lisa Lawson to benefit Quiet Oaks Hospice House for its Quiet Oaks Supporting Women program. Click here to donate
  • Community Star Brady DeGagne with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central MN will dance with pro Rachel Trout to benefit the Club’s SMART Girls program. Click here to donate


Come Visit Roscoe, Minnesota with Us in Pictures