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LEBANON — If you’ve ever wanted to Electric Slide through Lebanon, the Lebanon Strawberrians and Lebanon’s Communities That Care are about to give you your chance.

The two groups are combining efforts on the city’s first “dance walk” fundraiser, to be held Thursday, Sept. 13, starting in the front parking lot of Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital.

Registration begins at 5 p.m. followed by the 1.5-mile walk at 6 p.m. Participants are asked to nominate songs for the walk’s soundtrack, which KGAL-KSHO will provide.

Everyone will hear the same music, but the steps are up to you, said Nancy Kirks, East Linn County Community Health Improvement and Research Partnership coordinator. Macarena, conga line, Bunny Hop, funky chicken, Riverdance, Hokey Pokey; just bust a move.

Dressing up is optional, but encouraged, Kirks said.

Individuals can sign up for $15, or families for $30. For teams, the first person on the team pays $15 and all other members pay $12. Prizes will be awarded to those who raise the most in pledges and sponsorships.

T-shirts will be available at the event for $10 each. Water will be available during the walk, and refreshments will be available afterward.

All proceeds will benefit the Strawberrians, the red-coated ambassadors who promote Lebanon at events throughout the region, and education programs provided through Lebanon’s Communities That Care.

Specifically, Kirks said, the Strawberrians need repairs to the limousine they use in parades and to pick up middle school students who earn breakfast out through the Bringing Up Learning Behaviors, or BULB, program.

Most of the money raised in the dance walk will go for fixing the limo, and the rest will be used by CTC for anti-bullying and anti-gang campaigns, Kirks said.

Communities That Care is a coalition of community representatives dedicated to recognizing and empowering youth to keep them drug- and alcohol-free.

Lebanon is one of about a dozen Communities That Care organizations nationwide. One of its sister CTCs in Maine did a dance walk earlier this summer, Kirks said.

Kirks said she and fellow organizer Dala Johnson, Lebanon Police community services coordinator, found a video of that group’s dance walk and said, “Let’s just run with it.”

Participants can walk if they want, Kirks said, or even just make a pledge and not join the parade at all.

“But we’ve found once you hear the music, you’re going to want to dance,” she said.

For information or advance registration, call Kirks at 541-451-6425 or Johnson at 541-451-1751.


Education Reporter

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