Thank you to our 2022 dancers for a fabulous event! See you all in June 2023!
Dine and Dance with the Stars is a competition based on the hit tv show Dancing with the Stars. Local “celebrities” dance to raise money for the charities BMA supports. They are partnered with local professional dancers. The person who gets the most votes ($20 per vote) becomes the grand champion and takes home the coveted mirror ball. Professional dancers from the actual television show join us as judges, as well as perform and auction off dances with themselves. Emcees are 610 Sports Bob Fescoe and Fox 4 Meteorologist Michelle Bogowith.
Anne Alexiou - STM for All
When Anne Waris Alexiou isn’t spinning pizzas, she is spinning on the dance floor with Rafael Labrado for STM for All. Anne was born and raised in Kansas City, MO. She is the youngest of 4 in the Waris Clan. Anne is the 2nd Waris to dance proudly for STM for All in the BMA Dine and Dance with the Stars. St. Thomas More was her grade school and now her little boy’s, Henry and Tommy, attend the same school. She is a proud alumnus of St. Teresa’s Academy and Avila University. She and her husband, Matt, own one of South KC’s favorite gathering spaces known as Southside Bar and Grille. Henry, Tommy and Willie the Bulldog will tell you that their Mom is the best!
Growing up in the same neighborhood with the Anselmo’s, Anne was a regular fixture in the Anselmo household. With Lori as her best friend, Anne spent many nights over there. It has been said that Mary Ellen makes the best chocolate chip pancakes and Anne will attest to that. It seems only natural that Anne is willing to take on their challenge to dance for STM for All. Anne believes very strongly in inclusive catholic education and hopes through her fundraising efforts that St. Thomas More can continue to provide support and educational materials for all students. Her hope is to continue St. Thomas More’s inclusive community to teach all children to learn and grow together despite differences.
Anne’s friends and family will tell you that she doesn’t like to lose. She will not slow down until after she hip hop’s her way across the dance floor with the title in hand. Anne lives by a simple motto of just “be kind” to others. She is someone that doesn’t know a stranger and lends a hand to anyone she meets. Remember, #itsforthekids!
Steve Bessenbacher - BMA Foundation
Hailing from the mean streets of Verona Hills in the St. Thomas More parish, Steve, or as the Godfather calls him, Stevie, has been a lifelong family friend of the Anselmo family. He might even tell you that his first paying job many years ago was having the big responsibility of dog-sitting Fluffy when the Anselmo’s were out of town way back when Duran Duran was perennially topping Casey Kasem’s Top 40. To Stevie, the Anselmo’s are family. Having attended the inaugural BMA Event back in the Rockhurst gym and many others since, the thought of being “in the show” was never a thought. However, after a couple special conversations with the Godfather at some family events last summer, and a little encouragement from John & Leslie Humphrey, Stevie was all in. It truly is an honor to be dancing on behalf of the Foundation that honors Brian, a fellow Chief (aka – Cyclone), Man for Others and Mizzou brethren.
When not honing his dancing skills with his partner Morgan, Steve’s day job is a managing partner of Crown MedRealty Partners, a healthcare real estate investment firm. But his all-time favorite job is having a houseful of girls. His beautiful wife and best friend is Jenny, who is clearly a saint. Together they have 3 special ladies, Emma (freshman at UGA – Go Dawgs), Izzy (junior at STA – Go Stars) and Ava (7th Grader at Visitation – Go Shamrocks?). Word on the street is they are using their fakes to sneak in to this 21 and older event to watch their dad bust a move…or hammy.
Regardless of what is busted, Steve wants to thank Jerry, Mary Ellen, Julie and Lori for this awesome experience, and more importantly, this amazing honor raise awareness to such great charities in Brian’s name…grazie.
Robyn Burky - Midwest Animal Resq
In her day-to-day, Robyn enjoys spending time with her own pets – each a rescue with a unique story. Professionally, she proudly serves as the Individual Philanthropy Officer for the AdventHealth Foundation in Shawnee Mission. We’d say she might have a leg up on the competition when it comes to fundraising! But most importantly, Robyn values supporting her community and working hard for the betterment of those in need.
Ashley Fancher - BMA Foundation
Ashley was born and raised in KC. She is ‘clone to the bone’ STM alum, class of 1999. Ashley is known from her family restaurant, Jess & Jim’s Steakhouse in Martin City, where she helps manage and bakes all the apple pies and carrot cakes. Ashley has been a hair stylist in Leawood for 17 years and is known for her bridal work. She has won “Best of Weddings” for The Knot 2017-2022 and won “Best of Weddings HALL OF FAME” in 2020.
Ashley married her Blue Valley North high school sweetheart, Scott Fancher, Jr. They’ve been together 21 years and married 13 and have three crazy and amazing kids, Cameron (15), Dillon (11), and Riley (6). When Ashley gets a break from one of her many jobs, she steps into the role of “chauffer” of the family.
Ashley is extremely honored to be chosen to represent BMA for this year’s Dine and Dancing with the Stars event. She has volunteered for the BMA golf tournament for the last 3 years and loves every bit of it. Ashely knew Brian, although they were in different grades and not friends per se, but he was best friends with her best friend’s brother, and she used to trade Brian and his friends rap CDs for rides to Rockhurst games in 8th grade.
If you know Ashley, she’s a hustler, she doesn’t sit or slow down very often, and is up for the challenge to raise a ton of money for the BMA Foundation in 2022.
Karen Hogan - TeamSmile
Karen Hogan is the Vice President and General Manager of Turner Construction. She has spent her entire 19-year career working for Turner in Kansas City. Karen’s leadership as a builder includes projects such as Liberty Memorial World War I Memorial Museum, University of Kansas LEEP II Engineering Building, Overland Park Sheraton Hotel, and countless more. Karen Hogan started her career at Turner Construction as a Field Engineer in 2003 after graduating from Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Missouri, with a degree in Engineering Management.
She is a board member for the KCADC, City of Olathe Chamber, ULI and the past president for DBIA-MAR. Karen is involved in many local charitable organizations and is currently active as a match maker for Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Turner Construction Company Foundation Board, and enjoys volunteering in many other events around the community. Karen was inducted into the class of 2021 Women Who Mean Business, a 2018 Distinguished Alumni from the Missouri University of S&T and a graduate of 2016 Overland Park Leadership Class. Over her accomplished career, Karen has valued her relationship with women in the industry and views mentoring other female professionals as a way of giving back. Karen and her husband Tim have two children, Gabriella (12) and Gavin (8) and their Boston Terrier Guinness (3).
I am really excited to be apart of this great event and supporting the BMA Foundation and all they do for the local KC Charities specifically TEAMSMILE!!!
Blake Nelson - Dream Factory
Kristen Pomerenke - Noah's Bandage Project
It’s for the kids! Kristen shows her passion, love, and dedication to children everyday as she teaches 2nd grade at Prairie Center Elementary. She has been teaching for 23 years and loves having the ability to make a difference on a daily basis.
Kristen graduated from Kansas State University (EMAW!!!) and then later received a master’s degree from Emporia State University. She is proud to be an educator.
Kristen married her one and only love, Chad, 21 years ago. They have two awesome children, Corbin (19) and Mckenzie (16). They enjoy spending time together whenever the teenagers make time in their busy schedules! Chad and Kristen also have four boxers, Tyson, Elvis, Pricilla, and Gracie and in case you were wondering, yes four dogs is the city limit for pets in Olathe, Kansas!!
Kristen is honored to be representing Noah’s Bandage Project at the Dine and Dance event this year. NBP is near and dear to her heart. Kristen knew Noah and his family before his cancer diagnosis and walked the cancer journey with them. She spent time with Noah while he was in the hospital having treatments. Kristen remains close the Wilson family and considers them “framily”. Kristen is excited to raise a lot of money for pediatric cancer research. Keep the fun band-aids coming!!
Ryan Wiebe - Bags of Fun
Only the best dancers hail from Dodge City, Kansas! While working on his grandparents’ farm, Ryan Wiebe perfected the arts of cutting wheat, milking cows, and of course, some good ol’ fashioned hoedown dancing. Ryan’s farm roots and midwestern values have inspired him to always give back to the communities that have given him so much and he couldn’t be more excited to be representing Bags of Fun KC at Dine and Dance with the Stars for the 2022 BMA Foundation event.
After moving to Blue Springs, Missouri, Ryan attended Northwest Missouri State University and graduated with a degree in Business Management and Marketing. His dancing abilities won over the heart of a beautiful girl in Kansas City (who can resist the polka?!). Ryan and his wife, Maureen, as well as their four amazing children Kellan (12), Oliver (10), Thomas (7), and Rosalie (3), and shih poo, Walter (6), reside in Kansas City, Missouri.
Ryan is the founder, President, and CEO of First Mortgage Direct in Kansas City, Missouri. He is also the owner and Executive Vice President of Bison State Bank. His personal mission through both positions is to serve customers with honesty and integrity and help them achieve their American Dream.
Ryan and his family are dedicated to supporting various children’s charities throughout the Kansas City area. Ryan believes in the power of play and loves a good belly laugh! Bags of Fun KC is an important organization to Ryan and his family because of the impact they make on children and their families who are going through life threatening illnesses and conditions. He is excited to bring his farm boy dancing skills to this event in order to highlight this incredible organization. Ryan is honored to support their cause of bringing joy, laughter, and a Bag of Fun to children who are fighting cancer and other long-term childhood diseases.