Local celebs dance for performing arts benefit

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Two years ago I declared there were two things I knew I’d never do: jump out of a perfectly good airplane or become a professional dancer. I’ve stayed true to my word. 2016’s debut of Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre’s Dancing with the Celebrities took me and the other non-dancers far, far outside the comfort zone.

The older we become, the less likely we are to do things that we’re not sure we can do well. We become known, and hopefully respected, in a particular field and branching out into the unknown in full view of our peers and the public is daunting. When the unknown involves being on stage that unease multiplies tenfold.

This year’s Dancing with Celebrities is set for April 28 with a new lineup of familiar faces who are stepping far outside their comfort zones. Pam Houser, Michael Ward, Christina Hatfield, Jimmy McAndrew, Tammy Kelly, Dr. Ryan Bones, Pam Pereira and Jerry Lyon are full-on in rehearsals, and from experience I know they are also questioning their sanity right about now.

After weeks of doubt mixed with glimmers of optimism, when every step was as it should be, and with sore muscles and feeling terrifically uncoordinated and ungraceful, the experience taught me that the largest obstacle to achieving anything is in our heads.

So here’s to the cast of the 2018 Dancing with Celebrities for donating their time to the benefit of the performing arts in our community. Tickets for the April 28 event at the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort are available at www.cdasummertheatre.com or 208-660-2958.

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This time of year after the snow melts we notice all of the trash and debris littering our highways. For a quarter of a century Sherry Mundt has made the north hill on Highway 95 near her family farm a labor of love with the Idaho Highway Department’s Adopt a Highway program. She’s collected roadside trash with her husband, Larry, Mica Flats horse club kids and with a group from the Mica Grange. She’s also made many solo treks along the highway filling bright orange trash bags.

In those 25 years Sherry and friends have collected 2,080 bags of trash weighing about 25 tons. And this is just in a one to two-mile stretch of Highway 95!

She told me that one of the most rewarding parts of her cleanup mission is when she’s taken young people out with her. Not until they were actually picking up trash did the youngsters even notice the garbage that motorists toss out their windows. They all became much more conscientious about their own habits.

When the kids would ask why more people didn’t help pick up roadside trash, Sherry would remind them that everyone has their own way of doing good in the world. During one of their excursions a man drove by and waved at the group. A little ways down the road they noticed he’d pulled over and threw what looked like trash out his window. Everyone was annoyed that someone would do that, until they reached the place where he’d thrown the “trash” only to discover he’d tossed dollar bills out the window for the kids.

More than just litter, Sherry has found many treasures along the roadside. She once found a complete set of truck tire chains and everything from sunglasses to iPods that she believes are lost by Ironman athletes during practice bike trips. Last year she picked up a total of $68 in twenties, tens, fives and one dollar bills.

Sherry chuckled when she observed that men tend to lose their things, women don’t. Sometimes it can be frustrating to see so much carelessly tossed litter year after year but Sherry takes satisfaction in doing something that makes a difference.

Thank you Sherry and every person and every group who has adopted stretches of highways and roadways in our community.

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Places to go and things to do: Tonight, 3Cs Fashion with a Flair style show and dinner at The Coeur d’Alene Resort, 5:30 p.m. Bobbi Freeman 208-667-1479.

Thursday morning at 7 a.m. is the Heritage Health “Bee in the Know” breakfast at The Coeur d’Alene Resort.

Thursday is also a big opening night for two local productions. Coeur d’Alene High School presents “The Little Mermaid” at 7 p.m. at the high school. The show runs through April 28. Tickets 208-769-2999 or www.chstheater.org. In addition, Aspire Community Theater’s “Children of Eden,” 7:30 p.m. at the Kroc Center. The show runs through April 29.

Saturday the Coeur d’Alene Downtown Association’s seventh annual Wine Extravaganza will have several locations downtown. www.cdadowntown.com. Also on Saturday the Hayden Kite Festival will be held at Broadmoore Park at noon. 208-762-1185.

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Happy birthday today to Anna Goodwin, Brad Dugdale, Chris Mueller, Pat Stroud, Rebecca Priano, Glenn Gatherer, Ryan Edmonds, John Cross, Branson McAlister and Lisa Johnson. Tomorrow Gerlinde Hamilton, Rich Piazza, Angie Hannon, Rick Seymour, Petrina Spellman, Carolyn Beard, Rick Gonzalez, Steve Adams, Charlie Staples (80!), BreAnna Brunton and Joe Bodman (60!) will celebrate. On Friday my mother Alice Rankin (87!), Sherry Mundt, Jerome Pollos, Scott Hough, Bill Hilbish, Sarah Gondo (40!), Marcia Jimenez, Laura Warner, Sarah Myers, Blaise Koep and John M. Smith share a birthday. On Saturday Gunnar Amos, Brent Hostetler, Sandy Langston, Ali Taylor, Larry Bird and Janet Johnson are taking another trip around the sun. Shirley Grimmett, Ron Strobel, Jeannette Peacock, Mark Nelke, Jim Barrett, Curtis Gregory, Dave Nordby, George Greenfield, Russell Thomas and Corey Beaver celebrate on Sunday. Monday birthdays belong to Shelly Enderud (50!), Troy Speziale, Malika Mills, Kevin Bennett, Charlotte Brown, Tracey Singer, Don Kline, Kathleen Schmidt and Tracy Williams. Putting on their party hats come Tuesday are Mary Watson, Dan Taylor, Pascale Cafferty, Hayley Gabriel, Dea Lenz, Lori Rogers, Mark McWhorter, Chris M Willoughby Sr., Mike Regusa, Eric Haakenson, Jordan Ketzenberg and Tim Ketzenberg.

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Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press and Kerri can be contacted on Facebook or via email mainstreet@cdapress.com. Follow her on Twitter @kerrithoreson.

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