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Dance walk planned in Camden

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Participants sign up to dance one mile to raise funds for local nonprofit

CAMDEN - Instead of running or walking, a nonprofit in Knox County is taking a much different approach to fundraising. The Five Town Communities that Care (or Five Town CTC) organization is encouraging people to bust a move in the first ever one mile dance walk planned in Camden on Thursday, July 19.

"We've gotten a lot of local interest," said Dalene Dutton, executive director for the Five Town CTC. "We've got a group of hula hoopers, swing dancers, two Zumba classes and hip hoppers that are signed up to participate."

All participants will start at the Hannaford on Main Street. Then they'll wiggle, spin, jump and shuffle their way to the Camden Public Landing, which is the official ending line of the event.

"We'll have a rolling sound system playing from a pickup truck, and everyone who registered was asked to nominate a song for the playlist. We put them into an iPod playlist and hit shuffle and away we go," explained Dutton.

The Five Town CTC came up with the celebratory idea after viewing a dance walk viral video produced by Ben Aaron of New York. Then, the non-profit produced its own dance walk spin-off video using some of its employees, local school principals and community members and uploaded it to YouTube.

"We've got a lot of people interested in the dance walk event through the video," explained Alex Owre, Five Town CTC director of development. "It'll be quite a spectacle to see a group of dancers going down Route 1 during tourist season. I think we'll gain a bunch of eyes and ears for our cause."

The nonprofit which encompasses the towns of Appleton, Camden, Hope, Lincolnville and Rockland works to promote healthy youth development and to prevent substance abuse, suicide, violence, delinquency, school drop outs and teen pregnancy among Maine's adolescents. Every penny raised through the dance walk will go directly to supporting local programming for the Five Town CTC.

"We do a lot of things such as actual activities for kids and training and technical assistance for other organizations who work with the kids," explained Dutton.

So far, 70 folks are signed up to participate, and many more plan to drop in the day of the event to groove down the road alongside them.

"This has really struck a chord with people," said Owre.

"Lots of nonprofits do a 5K; we thought this would be more fun than running or walking, and so many people love to dance and don't get the opportunity that often," said Dutton. "It took us aback at how much energy there is around this."

The Five Town CTC dance walk is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. on July 19 at the Hannaford on Main Street in Camden. Registration and check-in begins at 5 p.m. Cost is $15 for individuals or $35 for families. For more information, log onto www.fivetownctc.org or http://www.facebook.com/FiveTownCTC.

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