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Dance-Off raises funds for Raising Awesome Awareness

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    Andy Gonzales is on the prowl at the Deputies vs. Special Friends Dance-off. The Vindicator | Abraham Ramirez
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    Oretta Ollison serves up some happy faces with her colorful face painting. The Vindicator | Abraham Ramirez
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    Liberty County Sheriff Bobby Rader hands out awards at the Raising Awesome Awareness fundraiser. The Vindicator | Abraham Ramirez

Smiling faces were in abundance for the Deputies vs. Special Friends Dance-Off to benefit Raising Awesome Awareness on Saturday, June 25, at the Liberty County ESD No. 7 Station in Hardin.

The event featured some of the best dancing around, especially the impeccable footwork of Liberty County Sheriff Bobby Rader, along with some other very talented folks.

There was plenty to do for everyone in attendance, with face painting, balloons, and characters from the Multiverse Causeplay Organization offering many photo opportunities.

It was also an opportunity for the organization to raise funds for future events designed for local individuals with special needs and their families.

“It went great; it was amazing. Every penny counts toward our events, and everything is free for our special needs community,” said co-founder and President Belinda Hernandez.

The event was organized by Sherry Watson and Shirley Jackson with help from the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office employees, Marion Campbell with Partners Resource Network, and the folks with Raising Awesome Awareness to help the group raise funding for projects with a silent auction.

“It was an absolutely wonderful event,” Watson said, “I really appreciate all of the deputies, the sheriff’s office employees, and everyone that donated items for the silent auction.”

The deputies squared off in a dance battle with the squad from the Raising Awesome Awareness, who learned the steps to their dance routine the week leading up to the contest at their summer camp.

“It was wonderful seeing the children’s faces, especially when they won that dance-off, beating my deputies,” said Watson.

Deputies that participated were Sheriff Bobby Rader, Cpl. Katrena Johnston, Dep. Austin Whisman, Dep. Ryan Cavanaugh, Dep. Bridgett Cavanaugh, Dep. Bruce Sims, Dep. Ray Winkler, Capt. Billy Knox, Investigator Danny McMullan. They were joined by ESD. No. 7 members Nathan David, Chief Nic Nelson, Ed Webb, Asst. Chief Stormie Reed, Adam King, Marcus Brand, Lt. Vanessa Barrientos, and Deshawn Finkley.

Sheriff Rader was excited that his department could participate and have a great time with such an incredible organization.

“The kids were awesome. If we can help out any organization, especially with kids involved, we’re glad to help,” said Rader.

Watson wanted to give special thanks to Sheriff Rader, the LCSO staff, ESD. 7, and everyone who participated in the big event.

ESD No. 7 provided their facilities, while Eddie Webb provided hot dogs and nachos, with deserts by the Church That Cares for everyone in attendance.

For more information about Raising Awesome Awareness find them on Facebook.