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A night for stars
Kobek captures inaugural title in tight voting
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With dance partner Rachael Moore at his side, Adam Kobek kisses his trophy after being named the best dancer by a panel of judges Saturday night at the first Effingham Dancing With the Stars. The event, a fundraiser for the Effingham County Victim Witness Assistance Program, was held at the Effingham Career Academy with a sold-out crowd. - photo by Photo by Pat Donahue

After confidently predicting victory, Adam Kobek delivered on the dance floor Saturday night.

The Effingham County project manager and partner Rachael Moore won the title as best dancer in the inaugural Effingham “Dancing With the Stars,” held at the Effingham Career Academy.

“I am very proud. He put a lot of effort into it,” Moore said.

Kobek and Moore performed an East Coast-West Coast swing set to Eddie Floyd’s old soul classic, “Knock on Wood.” They had been working on their routine since April.

“It was all Rachael’s doing,” Kobek said. “She was the professional. She nailed everything.”

Added Moore: “He picked the song and I choreographed it and matched it to his personality.”

The event was a fundraiser for the Effingham County Victim Witness Assistance Program. Before the event, the organization had collected more than $13,000 and with all 250 tickets sold for the show, the total through Saturday night was $16,049.
Victim Witness assists victims of domestic violence with temporary protective orders, help in preparing victim impact statements, crisis intervention, safe shelter referral and relocation assistance, among other services.

“It is far better than I could have ever expected,” said Victim Witness Executive Director Glenda King. “I’m overwhelmed, at the attendance, the participation, at the community.”

Dr. James Cornwell, who performed a waltz with Tamara Tyre to “Jack Sparrow’s Theme,” complete with pirate costume,
raised more than $7,000.

Other contestants included the Effingham Herald’s Calli Arnold, who performed the hustle with Alonzo Boschulte to Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory”; county Commissioner Reggie Loper performing the Steel Bridge Shag with Linda Settle to “Boot Scootin’ Boogie”; Rincon Mayor Ken Lee and Jackie Tyre in a salsa dance to “Tequila”; Phillip King and Jaelynn Olmstead in a two-step to “Country Boy”; Kia Westmoreland-Reese and Gene Tyre in a bolero to “Sin Excusas”; Gutyon Mayor Michael Garvin and “The Girls” performing a medley to “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” Young MC’s “Bust a Move” and “New York, New York”; and Heather Sandstrom and Gene Tyre doing the cha-cha to “Be With You.”

Kobek said he was glad to volunteer for the Victim Witness fundraiser.

“When we got asked to do it, I thought, ‘I can’t believe the potential here,’” he said. “To see what we did for such a vital organization in the community is wonderful.”

Planning for the event began in March, and all of the contestants and their professional dance partners were volunteers.

“A lot of volunteers have spent a lot of time putting this together,” Glenda King said.

She’s already starting plans for the 2012 “Dancing With the Stars.”

“We will do it again next year,” King said. “I’ve already got three people who didn’t dance tonight who are going to dance next year. We’ve already started our list.”

Online voting for the dancers will continue through the week at

For more photos, see