Jessica and Peter Hess

Jessica and Peter Hess of Waconia kick up their heels in a spirited dance routine to the popular ’80s hit “Footloose.”

It all came together Sunday night for Peter and Jessica Hess of Waconia who earned the grand champion prize of a mirrored trophy and bragging rights at the inaugural Dancing Like the Stars fundraiser. The couple earned kudos from the judges and viewers for their exuberant dance routine set to the popular 80s tune “Footloose.”

Sponsored by 2B Continued, the first-time event, which benefits suicide prevention, mental health and wellness, featured 11 local couples who were recruited to compete in three categories: pre-show fundraising, judges’ choice and people’s choice. Phil Grochow of Gaylord and April Trebelhorn of Winthrop took home the trophy for fundraising, while the Hess’ wins of the judges’ and people’s choice awards earned them the top prize.

More than 1,000 people tuned in to watch the full production, live-streamed show. At the end of the evening $57,956.94 had been raised.

“We are beyond grateful for the support shown during last evening’s Dancing Like the Stars event,” said Tammy Diehn, founder and executive director of 2B Continued. “’Thank you’ does not even begin to describe it. This support will go a long way in promoting the mission of 2B Continued: To raise awareness of suicide prevention, mental health, and wellness. We look forward to another year of programming, made possible by the generosity and support of this incredible community.”

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— Kay Johnson