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Alzheimer’s advocates dancing for the cause in Boynton Beach

September 19, 2016 GMT

Forget Tom Bergeron, Erin Andrews and all those celebrity contestants on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” — the real dancing stars this week are right here in Palm Beach County.

And you can catch their one and only performance on Thursday afternoon in Boynton Beach (see box). That’s when eight everyday folks — all of whom have a connection to the healthcare industry — will be paired with professional dance instructors from Fred Astaire Dance Studio for a command performance, all in the name of charity.

In the coming weeks, our localAlzheimer’s Association has several fund-raising/awareness/advocacy eventsplanned, including 2-mile “End Alzheimer’s” walks on Sept. 25 in Boca Raton, Oct. 1 in Jensen Beach and Oct. 8 in downtown West Palm Beach.

But Thursday’s event is unquestionably the most unique.

Dean Tendrich of NuVista’s Healthy Living Institute of Jupiter will serve as emcee, and the amateur dancers — who’ve spent the last several weeks rehearsing with their professional instructors/partners — can’t wait to strut their stuff.

Jane Garcia-Deale, a traveling nurse with Caring People Home Care, has a personal connection to the disease — her grandfather. “Back in the 1980s, there wasn’t enough research, so he was misdiagnosed. It’s important for me to be part of this amazing cause and perhaps we’ll find a cure one day.”

That dancing was chosen as the activity for this fund-raiser is apropos because dance is often used a cognitive therapy tool for those in the early stages of dementia.

Marcia Teele, director of marketing for Arden Courts Memory Care Community of Delray Beach, explained that her participation “is an opportunity to challenge myself to learn something new, which is really good for your brain, and fun at the same time.”

Even the event’s judge (and, yes, just like the primetime TV show, our hero dancers will be receiving “scores”), Betty Golub, has both an extensive background in ballroom dancing and a personal connection to the disease: She’s a caregiver for her Alzheimer’s-stricken husband.

So, if want to enjoy a toe-tapping good time — and support one of our community’s most noble causes — check out Dancing with the Stars Palm Beach on Thursday.