MIDLOTHIAN

10 star-studded couples will take to the dance floor on New Year’s Eve for a one-of-a-kind trophy and bragging rights.

The Hope Mansion is a maternity home based in Cedar Hill for women who are going through a crisis pregnancy. They will host their 7th annual Night of Hope gala on New Year’s Eve at the Blaine Stone Lodge in Midlothian, where 10 Texas couples will compete in a “Dancing with the Stars”-themed competition for the coveted Mirror Ball Trophy. Proceeds go toward the Hope Mansion and help benefit mothers in need throughout Texas and the Metroplex.

In previous years, the gala was held intermittently in downtown Dallas based on venue and date availability. This year, however, event coordinator Sheila Wood said the mansion decided to start a new tradition and host it on New Year’s Eve.

They also decided to host it in Midlothian to have a more visible presence in southwestern Texas counties.

“Midlothian is a growing city with a history for caring about the community and the health, safety and development of its citizens,” Wood said. “Midlothian now has several great venue options, and Blaine Stone Lodge fits our needs perfectly. The management staff there have been great to work with, the facility is upscale with a sense of adventure mixed in and the ability to have space for guests, a band, dancers and then move out onto the veranda with firepits and fireworks to ring in the New Year was irresistible.”

Wood said the gala committee invited dancers to the competition based on their personal commitment to the Hope Mansion’s mission. One of those couples, TJ and Wendy Henley, have been married for 23 years and currently live with their two children in Midlothian. With Wendy being adopted herself, the couple felt particularly motivated by the Hope Mansion’s philanthropy.

So they agreed to participate, learn some smooth new dance moves and raise money for a cause they believed in. As of publishing, team Henley was in third out of the top four places.

“The couples began working in October,” Wood said. “Each team is working with a dance professional from EverDance Studio in Arlington. The owner, Loui Moreno has participated in other ‘Dancing with the Stars’-themed events and has been very helpful to coach us through this. Together with the professionals, the teams have chosen their dance style, choreography and costumes. The Gala committee allotted six lessons to each dance team.”

The winner of the Mirror Ball trophy is decided by the team that earns the most votes, where $1 equals one vote, and the team that raises the most money wins. Gala guests will have the opportunity to donate to their favorite team upon completion of their routine. An additional prize is given to the best dance routine, which is determined by a panel of judges, while the crowd decides an award for best costume. The night will conclude with a fireworks show at midnight, which will welcome in the New Year.

Wood said she’s more excited for the event with every passing day, and she can’t wait to see everyone compete on New Year’s Eve.

“We believe more people will have an understanding of how Hope Mansion can serve the communities in Midlothian and Ellis County,” she said. “The Hope Mansion team is excited about getting to know and being known by the Midlothian Community.”

To reserve tickets, go online at www.hopemansion.com/gala, or call 972-293-3370.