Cornerstone: Finding funds in fun and dancing

Megan Duesterhaus and Dan Clausius practice for their DWTS performance.

Coaches and competitors are putting the final touches on their smooth moves this week.

Dancing with Local Stars hits the stage this Friday but it's not all about who takes home the Mirror Ball trophy.

"This year we're financing a program that used to be state funded and we get nothing for it now, but it was a program in the schools that we thought was worth keeping," Cornerstone Board Member, Donna Smith said. "So as a board, we decided we had to figure out a way to fund it."

Enter Dancing with Local Stars. State funding for social services organizations like Cornerstone has gone down over the years. Agencies have had to cut programs or find another source of income. Three years ago, Cornerstone found that source.

"I remember our first committee meeting we talked about it and Darla Rischar is a huge fan of the show and she said, 'What about ballroom dancing?'" Smith said. "I thought, 'Who wants to watch ballroom dancing?' Then it snow balled into Dancing with the Stars and it's a great way to get the community involved."

So great that the audience attendance has almost doubled since the first year. Another thing that's increased is the competitiveness among the dancers.

"I think the dancers think a little bit more about what they're doing," Smith said. "The first year they thought, "Oh, 60 seconds, we'll just wing it" and now they really plan for it."

"Well ,we're feeling pretty confident, we've been practicing a lot," competitor, Betsy Wert said.

"We've had a few intense moments but it's been fun for the most part," Wert's partner, Brian Pahlmann, said.

Those intense moments are worth it, because they're helping fund a valuable Cornerstone program.

"A program in the schools where the case workers go in and help children who may discontinue going to school or they fall through the cracks and they have trouble in their lives," Smith said. "So they can work with them in school. Everybody that involved with Cornerstone, it gives them a boost and makes them feel better about what they do."

Click here, to get information about tickets and donating to Cornerstone.