LUMBERTON — Two longtime friends will be taking the dance floor in the upcoming United Way event Dancing with the Robeson County Stars.
Rick Gregory and Tina Bullard’s families have been friends for many years — and their friendship is growing as they spend time together preparing for the competition.
The pair have been practicing once a week since November.
“It’s all freestyle,” Bullard said. “I absolutely love to dance but mostly what we’re going to be able to accomplish for the children of Robeson County is why I wanted to get involved.”
“I think it’s a great way to … encourage reading for children at an early age,” Gregory said. “I think that all education is based on reading, writing and arithmetic and early childhood reading is very important to me.”
The second annual dance event will be held on March 23 at 6:30 p.m. at the Southeastern Agricultural Center and Farmers Market. The United Way event asks people to support their favorite couple by voting with a $10 donation. The couple with the most votes will win the competition.
Proceeds from votes, as well as ticket sales, go toward the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, a program established in 1996 by country singer Dolly Parton that provides children 5 and under books each month regardless of their family income. Tickets are $30 each.
The event raised $146,000 last year, and hopes are high that the numbers will be better this time around.
There are 10,000 children 5 years old and younger eligible for the program in Robeson County. At the current time there are more than 1,300 children registered to receive books, a number that continues to grow.
Registration forms to receive books are available at the Lumberton Children’s Clinic at 400 Liberty Hill Road and the United Way office at 202 N. Chestnut St.
For information, or to vote for your favorite couple, visit www.unitedwayrobeson.org.