Needed Funds Raised to Support Charleston Area Alzheimer’s and Dementia Programs

The 12th Annual Dancing with The ARK's Stars event was held in May and raised $172,300, with 450 people in the audience

More than $200,000 was recently raised to support The ARK of SC in its work in providing comprehensive support services to families living with Alzheimer’s or related dementia. Funds from two events, the 23rd Annual McElveen Race For The ARK and the 12th Annual Dancing With The ARK's Stars, help to support programs such as memory screenings, resource fairs, educational workshops, and support groups in Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, and Orangeburg counties plus respite centers in Harleyville and Summerville.

“We are so humbled by the incredible support. Thanks and appreciation to our runners, walkers, dancers, sponsors, volunteers, The ARK board and staff, committees, and donors for two successful fundraisers! The funds will be vital to our programs that serve caregivers near and far," said Peg Lahmeyer, executive director of The ARK.

The 23rd Annual McElveen Race for The ARK, held on August 27, 2022, was a record breaking year for support, raising $30,000 with more than 430 participants. This was McElveen Buick GMC’s third year of sponsoring the event and Trident Health’s fifth year for sponsoring the towels. The 2022 race winners include:
● Overall Female - Shannon Bain 17:43 (a new female course record)
● Overall Male - Benjamin LaPrise 17:29
● Youth Challenge Winners: Northwood Academy Chargers
● Corporate Challenge Winner: AllCare Living Services

The 12th Annual Dancing with The ARK's Stars event was held in May and raised $172,300, with 450 people in the audience. Russ Lloyd and Debbie Charles Housand took home the 2022 Mirror Ball Trophy. Lloyd raised a record high $67,179 for The ARK of SC in memory of his mother, Helen Lloyd. Dr. Alli Wimberly McCall and David Roland took home the 2022 Judges' Award for their foxtrot dance performance.

For the second year, Lowcountry Conference Center Summerville Hilton was the ballroom venue, plus, Ballroom Dance Charleston returned as the professional sponsor. Dorchester County Probate Judge, Mary Blunt was The Dancing with the ARK’s Star’s 2022 “Mirror Ball Sponsor.” This is Judge Blunt’s 11th year as The ARK’s title sponsor in memory of her mother, Dr. Lidia Vallarino, who had Alzheimer's.

The 2022 celebrity dancers included: Craig Byars, Tiffany Norton-Cornette, Sharon Benzenberg, Ashley Edwards, Russ Lloyd, and Dr. Alli Wimberly McCall

The 2022 professional dancers from Ballroom Dance Charleston coached the contestants and choreographed routines. The professional dancers included: Melody Chabala, Michael Hogarth, Debbie Housand, Klajdi Kasemi, and David Roland

The 2022 judges included:
● Carolyn Murray, WCBD News2 co-anchor
● Frankie Staropoli, 2021 People’s Choice Winner
● Jamie Touchberry, 2021 Judges’ Award Winner

2022 Host of The Night:
● Rob Fowler, Storm Team 2’s Chief Meteorologist

In South Carolina, 86,000 people are living with Alzheimer’s and that number is estimated to rise to 120,000 by the year 2025. The state has the eighth highest Alzheimer's death rate in America and has seen a 122 percent increase in deaths since 2000.

Learn more about The ARK at

Based in Summerville, South Carolina, The ARK is a local nonsectarian nonprofit outreach program providing hope and relief to families living with Alzheimer’s Disease or a Related Dementia (ADRD). Support services include social respite care, support groups, education, caregiver consultations, resource referrals, and community development. For more information, call 843-471-1360 or visit

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