Class creates dance to help alum |

Class creates dance to help alum

What started out as a discussion about people in need in Eric Hanson’s sixth-hour sociology class has turned into a communitywide event.

“The Dance for the Champ” is a dance being held as a benefit for Moffat County alumnus Kortney Lake tonight at Moffat County High School from 9 p.m. to midnight.

The class has been organizing the dance for more than two weeks.

On Thursday, Hanson’s classroom was filling up with raffle prizes donated from the community, and the walls in the school were plastered with posters advertising the event.

The idea for a dance in support of Lake was brought up because of a story in the Craig Daily Press about the former state champion wrestler fighting an illness.

The 1999 graduate was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in January. Without health insurance, Lake and his new wife, Melissa, have had to foot most of the medical bills for his treatment. Esophageal cancer is incurable, and many of the treatments are experimental and expensive.

“I was hoping to do some sort of community service project, and they came up with the dance,” Hanson said. “It really took off from there.”

Senior wrestler and sociology student Scott Garoutte talked to Lake about the idea.

“I asked him if we could use his name and help him out,” Garoutte said. “He was thankful and appreciated what we were doing.”

Senior Billy Richards, who is in the class and also co-owns a DJ service, is the DJ for the night.

“This has turned into a big deal,” Richards said. “There is a lot of interest from the school and the community.”

Twenty-eight businesses from Craig have contributed to the dance in one way or another.

Students also are selling T-shirts with the name of the dance on them for $10.

“We hope to raise $5,000,” Richards said.

“That will take some more community involvement,” Hanson said.

Because the dance is limited high schoolers, community involvement can come from cash donations and shirt purchases.

T-shirts are for sale at the school, and Hanson said they can be purchased by calling him at the high school.

“Some people are coming just to support the cause,” senior Hugo Quezada said.

“I’ve had calls from New York City about helping support the cause,” Hanson said. “I’m from Denver, so the way a small town has come together has been great to witness.”

The dance idea has grown so much Hanson said it has turned into the class’s final project.

“It’s pretty much all they’ve done the last 2 1/2 weeks,” he said. “They’ve spent a lot of time outside of the classroom getting support. It’s been good to see how much they want this to be a success.”

David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or

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