The 7th Annual Dancing With Our Stars was last night. It was a night of inspiration, dance and fundraising to support the Boulware Mission. There was an engagement on stage too! What a special night it was.

Tyler Shookman for WBKR

Yes. You're ready that number correctly! Close to $130,000 was raised last night for the Boulware Mission in Owensboro. I was very honored to be a judge at the event, and to witness beautiful dancers with such giving hearts.

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The night started with a beautiful and touching performance from Jeffrey Rhinerson and Amanda Owen from Puzzle Pieces. They truly are the "Wind Beneath each other's Wings." There wasn't a dry eye at the Owensboro Convention Center when they performed. They helped raise funds and stole the show, although they weren't in the competition.

After that, the competition began and it was fierce! Here's your top place finishers. 50% of the votes were from the judges and the other 50% was based on fundraising dollars. That's why fundraising was very important, as it could make a difference in who wins the mirror ball trophy.

Barb Birgy

You couldn't write a better script than this. Eric Olden lost his dance partner/instructor due to injury. That's when his girlfriend stepped up to the plate and filled in. Neither knew how to dance, but luckily Baylee Long is a great instructor and worked her magic. It was indeed magic when they took the stage. They brought back some 90's style line dancing and the crowd went wild! After the dance was over, something amazing happened. Eric got down on one knee and asked Ashley Crafton to marry him. And, she said YES. They also set a Dancing With Our Stars fundraising record on this night, by raising around $30,000. Oh, and there's more. Eric, Ashley and Baylee are the 2019 Dancing With Our Stars Champs! What a night for this couple. Congrats on a night that we'll never forget and one that you'll always cherish.

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Eric Oden & Ashley Crafton – Eric is the Manager of Capital Strategy at Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline.  Ashley is the Owner and Designer at Dwell Designs.  Neither have any dance experience, but they’ll be working with their dance instructor, Baylee Long, who led Texas Roadhouse Owensboro to a national line dance championship in San Francisco.  Baylee is a Continual Improvement Specialist with Aleris Rolled Products.

Coming in 2nd place: Gail Niehaus & Jimmy Henning

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Gail Niehaus & Jimmy Henning – Gail is the number one selling and listing Agent at Century 21 Partners.  Jimmy is an Industrial Electrician at Waupaca Foundries and co-owner with his wife Natalie of Jubilee Ballroom Dance in Lewisport.

Coming in 3rd place: Andrew Howard & Katrina Jones

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Andrew Howard & Katrina Jones – Andrew is a Commercial Loan Officer at Independence Bank.  Katrina is a stay at home mom who danced throughout school as part of her high school dance team.

You can meet all of the amazing dancers HERE. Congrats on a beautiful evening of fundraising and fellowship!

WBKR