Star Dancing Gala Celebrity Dancers

And Your 2017 Star Dancing Gala Celebrities Are...

Betsy Kogan

Betsy has received $54,400 in votes!




Betsy Kogan lives in Avon with her husband Mark. She spent her childhood in Ohio where she ice skated competitively for eight years. Her training took her to Colorado Springs in the summers, and after falling in love with Colorado, she attended college at CU Boulder. Betsy has made her home in many places during her lifetime, including Paris, New York, Italy and London. She moved to the Vail Valley from Los Angeles in 2013, where she cycled competitively and won two state championship races. Initially attracted to Vail by its physical beauty and endless recreation, Betsy stayed for the community spirit and lasting friendships she found. “People that live here have an open mind, boundless heart, and a willingness to dig deep to help others,” she says. She and her husband Mark, a member of Vail Valley Foundation’s Board of Directors, have been active supporters of YouthPower365 for countless years. Betsy is a proud mother of Benjamin and Eli, and together with Mark, they all enjoy chasing adventure on skis and motorcycle rides through the Colorado mountains.


Josh Lautenberg

Josh has received $4,535 in votes!






With family ski trips to Vail and childhood aspirations of becoming a ski instructor, it’s no surprise that Josh Lautenberg found himself living in Vail as an adult. Josh’s love of learning and seeking new challenges motivated him to pursue a career in real-estate, and his hard work propelled him to success as Owner and Managing Broker of Engel & Volkers. Though Josh has moved from teaching on the slopes to owning a real estate brokerage, Josh still relishes any opportunity to get outside and enjoy a day of skiing, dirtbiking, hiking, sailing, or biking.  Committed to supporting the youth and families of Eagle County, he and his wife Christina have been longtime supporters of YouthPower365 and regular attendees of the Star Dancing Gala event. Son of longtime Senator Frank Lautenberg, he also has aspirations of potentially seeking public office one day to work to positively impact the lives of fellow Coloradans. In his freetime, Josh enjoys drumming in a local band (REWIND).

Sheldon Andrew

Sheldon has received $7,250 in votes!



Sheldon Andrew, a born-and-bred Midwesterner, dedicates much of his time to chairing fundraising events, volunteering on boards, and serving as an officer for various non-profits. He first became acquainted with YouthPower365 by way of joining the Vail Valley Foundation – after learning of the PwrHrs program at a VVF breakfast, he found himself on a program tour at the Avon Elementary site, and his commitment to YouthPower365 was solidified.  “Gaining a better understanding of what the program [PwrHrs] does for the children of our community, and learning how the parents are supporting the program to enrich and improve their children’s lives was inspiring,” he says, thinking of the strong influence his paternal grandparents had on his own life and learning. Sheldon is nuts about American classic cars, having owned a ’58 Coupe DeVille, a ’67 Eldorado, and a ’76 Rolls Royce, to name a few. After formally retiring in 2013 following 32 years of Federal Service, Sheldon now acts as a consultant to the Department of Defense. 

Meredith Kennedy

Meredith has received $7,600 in votes!



Meredith Kennedy is a Southern belle from Athens, Alabama with a passion for college football – ROLL TIDE! She first fell in love with the Vail Valley because of the outdoor adventures, the world class event offerings, and her now-husband of 14 years, Jeff, co-owner of Moe’s Original Bar B Que. Meredith had a 13-year tenure with the Vail Valley Foundation before retiring to be a stay-at-home mom for her two daughters, Gracen and Libba Jane, also sitting on the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity Vail Valley. She is inspired by the passion of YouthPower365’s staff in providing programs and resources to best serve the needs of local youth, and is channeling that into motivation to step outside of her comfort zone by dancing in front of 800+ spectators at this year’s Star Dancing Gala.

Brian Maurer

Brian has received $3,685 in votes!



Brian Maurer and his wife Dana moved to the Vail Valley in 1997, and have called this community home ever since. Growing up in Des Moines, Iowa, Brian met Dana while attending medical school in Chicago before finding permanence out west as the owner of Eagle-Summit Foot & Ankle. Despite pursuing the study of medicine in adulthood, Brian notes that his focus was always on family. “I don’t recall as a child having a specific desire or dream to become a fireman or race car driver or even a doctor [as a child].  I do know that I always wanted to be a husband and father.” Brian and Dana have three children – two sons and a daughter – all of whom have been involved in YouthPower365’s COPA Soccer program.  While being on stage at the Star Dancing Gala is not Brian’s first time in the spotlight in Vail (he performed at a three-show run as Herr Stahlbaum in The Nutcracker in 2013), he admits that he hopes to “learn to dance well enough not to embarrass my daughter.”


Michele Philippon

Michele & Marc have received $19,440 in votes!



Michele is grateful to have grown up in the the Vail Valley, where everyone supports one another and community members come together to comprehensively tackle local challenges. Michele herself is driven by the desire to learn about diverse cultures and to give back to the world around her, and has been spending a gap year taking intensive immersion courses in France and Costa Rica before starting her study in Global Health at the University of Southern California in the fall of 2017. A lifelong ballet dancer, Michele has a true passion for dance, one of her proudest moments is when she received her first pair of pointe shoes after passing the pointe shoe test at the Vail Valley Academy of Dance.  She attributes the dance academy’s teachers for teaching her discipline, dedication, perseverance, time management, humility and teamwork. Having witnessed firsthand the impact of programs like Celebrate the Beat and Girl PowHER have impacted her fellow community members, Michele hopes to get more involved with YouthPower365 and believes that she and her brother, Marc Jr. , dancing in SDG will let people know they are never too young to give back to their community and make a difference.

Marc Philippon Jr.

Michele & Marc have received $19,440 in votes!



Marc has a great interest in outdoor recreation and team sports, and has been playing Varsity basketball since his freshman year of high school. With Marc Jr.’s love of sports, especially basketball, it is no surprise that his strongest connection to YouthPower365 is sports related. After seeing his mother act as a supporter of YouthPower365 for many years, Marc watched as a close friend from a low-income family pursued his interests in soccer through the COPA program; this same friend is also now studying physical therapy at Colorado Mesa University, playing on their college soccer team. Marc is honored to be able to give back to YouthPower365, impacting students throughout the Valley through programs like COPA Soccer, Magic Bus and Celebrate the Beat. In the future, he hopes to continue to positively impact his community through becoming a surgeon. 

Agatha Precourt

Agatha has received $8,510 in votes!



Born in Chicago, raised in Tucson, Agatha’s favorite childhood memory is summer road trips to Southern California beaches to get away from the heat of Arizona in the middle of July. As a child, Agatha imagined becoming a doctor or lawyer yet found a passion for business at Stanford and today, spends her time investing in and advising early stage consumer companies.  Stanford is also where she met her friend and unbeknownst at the time, future sister-in-law, Amanda Precourt. When Amanda’s brother, Anthony, visited Stanford, he met Agatha and 20 years and 3 children later, Agatha’s family loves spending time in Vail and value the people and the beauty of the natural surroundings. Agatha believes in the mission of YouthPower365 , and the Girl PowHER program especially resonates with her for the critical support it provides to adolescent girls in the valley. Agatha's bucket list includes performing in a ballroom dancing event so dancing in the Star Dancing Gala allows her to check this off.  She hopes her performance will inspire her daughter to overcome her fear of being on stage to pursue her love of singing and acting.  If mom can dance in front of a crowd of 800+ people, she can do it too!

Harvey Simpson

Harvey has received $3,060 in votes!



“The doctors say you gotta keep active. Well, I say you’d better keep moving. Skiing all day is a big part of that.” Harvey, a 90 year old, with a teenager’s sense of adventure is transitioning from the ski slopes to the dance floor where he is working on his dance moves for the Star Dancing Gala. First introduced to YouthPower365 by Steve Fossett, Harvey is committed to supporting the Vail Valley’s next generation of leaders. A veteran of both World War II and the Korean War, Harvey spent two weeks in Havana at the Tropicana dancing in spite of his father when he was forced to quit the Navy. Harvey founded a successful construction company with his cousin. Nab (Nuts and Bolts) Construction Corp’s successful projects include Yankee Stadium, The Brooklyn Bridge, and the Statue of Liberty.  Today, Harvey is the Sonnenalp Hotel’s own Eloise, and has spent over 2,050 nights at the hotel as its first permanent resident! As Harvey says, “I have a night club in my living room!”, which gives Harvey ample space to prepare for his debut at the Star Dancing Gala.