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Judge puts on dancing shoes for charity

PROCTORVILLE — On Friday morning it will be business as usual for the Honorable Donald R. Capper as he sits on the bench of Lawrence County Municipal Court disposing of cases.

But when the sun goes down, Capper with tuxedo in hand will head for the Big Sandy Superstore Arena, where he will be part of this year’s “Dancing with the Tri-State’s Stars.”

This is the third year for the local variation of the popular national dance show that teams an amateur with a professional in a dance routine. Profiting from the benefit is the Ebenezer Medical Outreach in Huntington, W.Va., that provides medical care and healthy lifestyle options for Tri-State residents.

“We provide quality care throughout the Tri-State in 15 different counties,” Ashley Thompson, director of development at Ebenezer, said. “We regularly have a doctor who volunteers and specialists who come in. We try to meet the needs. There is a pharmacy and a dental facility.”

The outreach clinic provides care for the uninsured, but the organization also oversees community programs such as Huntington’s Kitchen and Fresh Market, both on Third Avenue.

“(At Huntington’s Kitchen) we have cooking classes and food events where people can learn about different cultures,” Thompson said.

Produce directly from local farmers is available at the Fresh Market from April through October.

“It is picked the night before,” Thompson said. “You are getting it right from the farmers.”

Capper was at a luncheon at Huntington’s Kitchen where he ran into a friend and Lawrence County resident, Andie Leffingwell, who was the one who got the judge to dust off his dancing shoes. Leffingwell runs the kitchen.

“She said ‘We do a fundraiser and we can’t get anybody from Lawrence County. Will you be in it?’ ” Capper said. “With the great work they are doing, she caught me at a weak moment.”

Capper is teamed up with Sarah Brown from Hurricane, W.Va., for a fox trot routine, choreographed by Jessica Fox of the Jeslyn Performing Arts Center.

“It was pretty intimidating,” Capper said about learning the routine. “For every beat you have to be at the right place. At this particular point of the music, I have to be here. I thought I am not sure I can do this.”

So far the outreach center has gotten $40,000 from the event, which starts at 8 p.m. Friday. Tickets are available at the Big Sandy box office or at Ticketmaster for $22 for adults and $12 for children and Marshall University students.

“This is for charity so even if I mess up, it will be entertaining,” Capper said. “I’ve told people cheering and jeering are acceptable.”