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'Dancing With the Scholars' to Play Nov. 9 at THEARC

Dorothy Rowley | 10/30/2013, 2:47 p.m. | Updated on 11/1/2013, 4:17 p.m.
This year marks the third annual presentation of WOLCF's major fundraiser, "Dancing with the Scholars," which supports the foundation's year-round ...
The late William O. Lockridge represented Ward 8 on the District's school board for nearly two decades. The "Dancing with the Scholars" on Nov. 9 event is in his honor. (Courtesy of WOLCF)

It’s been nearly three years since the passing of William Lockridge, the maverick for progress when it came to the education of students attending the District’s public schools.

Since that time, his widow, Wanda Lockridge, has endeavored to keep both her esteemed husband’s memory and 16-year legacy on the District’s school board alive as head of the William O. Lockridge Community Foundation (WOLCF), launched shortly after the well-known education activist died in 2011 at age 63.

“When William passed, instead of having people send flowers, we asked if they wanted to make a donation toward a student scholarship program,” Lockridge said. “In just a couple of days, $500 had been raised and questions arose whether the money was tax deductible, so the foundation grew out of that.

“Over the past two and a half years, we’ve created other initiatives that include a program that provides transportation for students at Ballou Senior High School [in Southeast] and a financial emergency project that provides needy students up to $500 a year to help with the purchase of personal items like clothing and toiletries.

Since its inception, WOLCF has also awarded $30,000 in scholarships, Lockridge said.

This year however, marks the third annual presentation of WOLCF’s major fundraiser, “Dancing With the Scholars,” which supports the foundation’s year-round programs.

“It’s sort of like “Dancing with the Stars,” but with a little twist,” Lockridge said. “This time we have students from Anacostia, Ballou and Woodson high schools who will dance with members of the District’s school board, which include Trayon White from Ward 8, Karen Williams from Ward 7 and Mark Jones from Ward 5.”

D.C. Council members Marion Barry (Ward 8) and Yvette Alexander (Ward 7) and Council Chair Phil Mendelson will serve as judges, and radio personality Justine Love will be the emcee. Mayor Vincent C. Gray is expected to deliver remarks.

Lockridge added that because of the momentum that has steadily built around the event since its launch, tickets sales have been brisk.

“We’re very excited,” Lockridge said. “This year’s event has a 1960s-70s theme and we’re having so much fun pulling it together.”

“Dancing with the Scholars III” will be held from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 9 at THEARC in Southeast. For more information, call 202-550-1149.