Friends and supporters of United Way of Denton County gathered in socially distanced fashion at the grand ballroom at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Denton Convention Center for the 10th annual UNITED Tribute Gala on Jan. 15.
Despite limiting ticket sales to 70% capacity, the 10th annual UNITED Tribute gala raised over $230,000 to reach a10-year milestone surpassing $1 million dollars raised for United Way of Denton County.
The celebration recognized several companies, municipalities and individuals for their dedication to building a stronger Denton County during 2021, and two community dancers were crowned Champions of “Dancing with Our Stars.”
Denton County Commissioner Bobbie Mitchell presented the most prestigious award of the night to Highland Village couple Michelle & Brian Cree who were honored as the 2021 Dr. Bettye Myers Humanitarian Awardees for their tireless work to build a stronger Denton County.
“This is truly humbling,” said Brian Cree. “What I want for United Way and Denton County nonprofits is the same thing I want for my businesses: greater revenue (donations), lower expenses, and to mitigate risk.”
The UNITED Tribute pre-show kicked off with “Live from the Blue Carpet” hosted by Zach Glenn and previous Mirror Ball Champion Jordan McDowell. Broadcast on Facebook LIVE and on the big screens in the Embassy Suites ballroom, “Live!” set the tone for the event with interviews on the blue carpet as awardees, sponsors and guests arrived.
The featured entertainment of the evening was the crowdfavorite “Dancing with Our Stars” showcasing 11 couples from across Denton County who volunteered since October to learn a group and solo dance under the direction of Gladys Keeton, professor emeritus of dance at Texas Woman’s University. Earning the Judges’ Choice Award for technical scores were Suzanne and Brian Danhoff, representing Denton Community Council of PTAs and Peterbilt. Votes from the audience – both at home and in the ballroom – crowned Kenya Lockett of Denton ISD and Joe Perez of the city of The Colony as Dancing Champions, and the two took home Mirror Ball Trophies.
The 10th annual UNITED Tribute generated over $230,000 for United Way of Denton County. The event came as part of the efforts of Co-Chairs Monica Glenn and Pat Sherman and the Tribute Committee.