Celebrity dancers will be competing for most money raised via web based voting and individual donation. Individuals can cast a vote for their favorite dancing couple (at $10 per vote) using the buttons below or by sending their donation to Senior Action, 50 Directors Drive, Greenville, SC 29615.
Walter Bennett is the Director of Operations for Pelham Medical Center, a division of Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System. He is accountable for the day to day operations of the facility and several non-clinical and clinical departments. Walter is known as the “resident problem solver” and thrives off the next challenge and/or project. Through Pelham Medical Center, Walter has had the chance to be in involved with several nonprofits: Greer Relief, LiveWell Greenville and the United Way of the Piedmont, just to name a few. He currently serves as the Past President and Membership Chair for Greer Relief.
Walter is a native South Carolinian and has called the Upstate home since 2006. He is a graduate of USC Upstate in Spartanburg and MUSC in Charleston. Walter loves the many cultures of South Carolina and has experienced them all through school, work and/or leisure travel. He is married to his beautiful wife, Dreneka, and has two awesome kids, Nicholas and Natalie. In his spare time, Walter loves to run, spend time with family and friends, is very active with his church, New Life of Excellence or you may catch him as Shelldon, Spartanburg Regional’s Pediatric Rehab mascot.
(dancing with Ciara Ikein)
Steven “Buck” Buckingham
Steven Edward Buckingham, or “Buck,” as he’s more commonly known, is a trial lawyer and mediator in Greenville, South Carolina. However, Buck is not a native South Carolinian. He grew up in the Republic of East Tennessee, where he developed a deep, abiding, and long-suffering love for Tennessee Football. In 1999, Buck moved to Greenville to attend Furman University, where he studied political science. Upon graduating magna cum laude in 2003, Buck was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, and delivered the speech at his graduation.
Later that year, Buck began law school at the University of Richmond. During his time at Richmond, Buck served as the Editor-in-Chief of The University of Richmond Law Review. Upon graduating magna cum laude in 2006, Buck was honored as the recipient of the law school’s Faculty Award.
Since 2007, Buck has had a number of opportunities to use his legal acumen to advance the causes of justice. For example, in 2016, he tried a case to jury verdict—and won—with the jury declaring that his client’s federally registered trademark had been willfully infringed. Earlier that year, Buck obtained a preliminary injunction against the Greenville County Election Commission for refusing to register certain Furman students to vote. Before that, Buck tried a plaintiff’s religious freedom case to jury verdict and won. Defending the rights of others, through vigorous offense, is a cause that is near and dear to Buck’s heart.
Another dear cause is civic engagement. Buck is a graduate of Leadership Greenville Class 39, Leadership South Carolina Class of 2016, and the Diversity Leaders Initiative Class XXIII. He is a past board member and chairman of the Julie Valentine Center, and is currently a board member and chairman of Rebuild Upstate. Buck is also a member of the board of directors of the Greater Greenville Chamber of Commerce, for which he serves as general counsel, and a member of the executive committee of the local chapter of the American Inns of Court. He’s also a Kentucky Colonel, but that’s neither here nor there.
When he’s not practicing law, Buck can usually be found either at Hans & Franz German Biergarten or on his front porch with his wife, Catie, a social worker, and their two dogs, Roosevelt and Pippa.
(dancing with Crystal Chang)
For over 20 years, Edward has spent his career serving older adults in South Carolina. His passion for seniors has served him well in various executive and management roles for retirement communities all over the state. In 2017, he helped to open Waterstone On Augusta and continues to serve as the Executive Director where he oversees the day to day operations.
When not serving the Community at Waterstone, Edward enjoys spending his time with his beautiful bride Heather and their two boys. His hobbies include anything outdoors but especially fishing, playing with toys, and building anything with Legos. He believes that with enough espresso, anything is possible.
(dancing with Lindley Mayer)
A helpful and concerned father-in-law offered Chris Corley this advice, “Learn a trade and you’ll never be without a job.” Following up on that advice, Chris applied, and was selected for, a plumbing apprenticeship with the Oklahoma City Plumbers union. “It was one of the best life decisions I’ve made,” says Chris. The Corley family eventually relocated to Greenville and in 1986, with an investment from his father, Chris decided to start his own company.
Over the next few years, Chris was motivated by providing for his wife and children, who as he says, “put a strong emphasis on having a roof over their head and expected to eat every day.” No job was ever turned down, and at one point, he was working full time during the day on one project and completing another in the middle of the night. Every time he wanted to throw in the towel, someone came along to offer work. Today, Corley Plumbing Air Electric, Inc. is a thriving family owned small business that serves residents of Greenville and Spartanburg counties. Chris considers himself fortunate to work with such a great group of dedicated men and women at Corley.
Chris enjoys “all things outdoors” and loves living in the upstate of South Carolina. He is married to Donna and declares himself a “blessed man”. Both he and Donna have experienced the pain of losing a former spouse and declares that they are fortunate to have found each other. Together they have 5 children and as of last count, 11 grandchildren.
(dancing with Misty Renfro)
Heather Devine grew up in Saginaw, Michigan and is proud of her midwestern roots. Upon graduation from Michigan State University, Heather relocated to Greenville in 1994 to pursue a career as a packaging engineer at Bausch and Lomb. After 8 years she left to raise a family with her husband Matt. Matt owns a hot melt adhesive company located in Calhoun, GA. Together, they have 3 children ages 17, 15 and 9.
In addition to holding down the fort while Matt travels for work, Heather volunteers at Shannon Forest Christian School where their children attend. During the last school year, she made over 200 Rice Krispie treats for the yearbook signing day!
US military troops are a cause near and dear to Heather’s heart. In the past year she has adopted several deployed service members and sent them monthly packages. This has become a source of joy and she is grateful to the soldiers for their sacrifice. It has also helped to teach her children that the world is bigger than what we see and we need to give back what we are able.
(dancing with Asangwua Ikein)
Sangeeta Hardy is a native of Birmingham, Alabama. After attending the University of the South for undergrad and spending a couple of years in New York City working for magazines like Vogue, The New Yorker, and Marie Claire she decided it was time to come closer to home and attended Business School at Clemson where she earned her MBA in 2006. Sangeeta has had a storied career in Greenville, clocking in at companies like ScanSource, Synnex and TALK Magazine where she has been involved with the magazine in one way or another for 10 years: first as an Account Executive, then a Contributing Writer, and now back as an Account Executive for both TALK and the USA TODAY NETWORK.
Sangeeta likes to spend her time with her husband of 11 years, Wesley, traveling, hiking, enjoying concerts, and if all else fails you can probably find them with a kitchen full of friends enjoying a good late night dance party.
While importance of education was stressed in Sangeeta’s house the one thing her dad always said to her (and still does) was, “it doesn’t matter to me how much money you make, or what job you have, just always give back to your community in any way that you can, and always be kind.” So that is my motto: Give back. Be kind. Really what else is there?
(dancing with Bryan Rodriguez)
Born and raised in Greenville, Erin Cowart Hester has watched Greenville transform before her eyes. As an alumna of Travelers Rest High School and North Greenville University, she has also witnessed Travelers Rest turn from a sleepy little town into a bustling community. The daughter of an entrepreneur, Erin has been exposed to the business community of Greenville her entire life. Now 50 years after her father started Cowart Awards, Erin and her brother and mother continue to carry on the family business. As Sales Manager and Creative Director, Erin spends her days making sure their clients receive excellent customer service and achieve the best results by presenting creative and out-of-the-box solutions. She is also a Gold Associate Member of Recognition Round Table and ARA certified.
When Erin is not in the office, she is with her husband of thirteen years, Sean, and their six-year-old daughter, Gracie. She loves spending time with her family and friends, especially by the pool, at the lake, on the racetrack, and singing karaoke! Erin also enjoys giving back to the community and attending her church, Berea First Baptist. In what little spare time she has, Erin keeps her business hat on and loves to learn about new and innovative technology as she believes continually learning is crucial to being an industry leader.
(dancing with Sebastian Hernandez)
April is a native South Carolinian and has lived in Greenville county for the past 20+ years. A mom of two girls, Kellett (18) and Addison (12) she has been heavily involved with them, their activities, and schools, serving on PTA boards, School Improvement Councils, clapping at violin recitals, and being the crazy mom yelling at lacrosse games. She is a Business Development Executive with CatchOn, a Dallas based company that specializes in educational software for school districts. She has had a successful career in the technology sector and has been twice named to CRN’s Women of the Channel and Power 50 Solution Providers. A lover of college football, most Saturdays in the fall you will find her either in Clemson cheering for the Tigers or parked in front of a TV. Growing up on Lake Greenwood, she has a huge passion for water sports particularly Slalom Skiing and Wake Surfing. She also enjoys a great glass of wine, working out, traveling, gardening, and of course dancing in her kitchen!
(dancing with Moses Jenkins)
Charles J. Russ was born in Indianapolis, Indiana and raised in Greenville, South Carolina where he graduated from Wade Hampton High School. During his senior year he was a state champion wrestler and a starting striker on the state champion soccer team.
Upon graduation, Charles continued his wrestling career and graduated in 2002 from the United States Military Academy at West Point, with a BS in Engineering Management and a Field of Study in Civil Engineering. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant into the United States Army in 2002.
Charles attended several Army schools, including the Air Defense Officer Basic Course, Air Assault School, Airborne School, and the Bradley Mechanized Leader’s Course. He joined his first unit in Baghdad, Iraq in June of 2003, where he served as a platoon leader for 12 months. He returned to Germany to serve as the Detachment Commander for Task Force Falcon and the OIC for the deactivation of his old unit. His other assignments include Battery Executive Officer (Delta Battery, 5-7 ADA), Battalion Logistics Officer (5-7 ADA), NATO Plans Officer (EADTF), and Plans Officer (357th AMDD).
In June of 2007, Charles also completed his Masters of Management with the University of Phoenix.
After working for 11 months part-time as a Financial Advisor, Charles received an honorable discharge in June of 2009, when he began his full-time career as an Investment Advisor Representative at Intervest International Incorporated.
In April of 2017, Charles began his own personal branch and brand at Intervest, with R-axis Financial Planning and Investments. He is now working with clients all over the U.S., as well as with U.S. expatriates and American military personnel living abroad. He offers comprehensive financial plans that include personal savings and budget management, investments, and detailed risk management strategies.
Charles is a member at Israel Metropolitan CME Church, and is a Life Member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (Post 9534) and the Association of the United States Army (AUSA). He is based out of Greenville, SC.
In his spare time Charles enjoys working out, traveling, and spending time with his identical twin sons, Brooks and Bradley.
(dancing with Misty Renfro)
Clara Sowell, Has been a Pulmonary nurse at Greenville Memorial Hospital for the past 5 years. Her love for helping those in need, made nursing the perfect profession. When not taking care of the sick, you can find her capturing smiles and special moments as a photographer with her very own, Milestone Photographs. Within her company, Clara dedicates extra attention to her “Share the love” photo sessions, intended to offer photo sessions to those in the community that are less fortunate. Her sponsored charities include St. Jude children’s hospital, UNICEF, Feed the hungry, The Humane Society and Samaritans purse. You can spot Clara throughout the community lending a hand. From feeding the homeless to visiting nursing homes and shelters; to teaching Spanish, American sign language and CPR/first-aid. Clara thoroughly enjoys being a member of the Brookwood church choir; She is a proponent of animal welfare and loves creating care packages for impoverish woman and kids. Her passion for helping was a seed that was planted in her childhood, for she grew up in extreme poverty herself.
Originally from Panama City, Panama. She Arrived in South Florida at the age 14 and called it home for 15 years before moving to Greenville SC in late 2012. She’s been married for 16 years to her husband Tim and is mother of Mackenna (12) and Aydin (10) who she has homeschooled for the past 4 years. She sponsors 2 lovely international boys named Cesar and Yadeta, who she often refers to as her adopted kids. She has 2 dogs, 2 cats and 6 chickens that keep her extra busy and on her toes.
Clara is so very excited and honored to be a local celebrity for Dancing with the Carolina Stars and can’t wait to exceed her goal, in order to help such an amazing cause.
(dancing with Cesar Jaramillos)