Rather than your average bake sale, Project Safe, a local non-profit organization working to end domestic violence, is hosting their 5th Annual Dancing with the Athens Stars competition on April 1st, 2012 at the Classic Center. Friends, family and Athens residents have the opportunity to vote pre-show by donating on Project Safe’s website and specifying their contribution to their favorite Athens Stars couple or can make their contribution at the show on April 1st. Each voter will contribute $1 per vote to select their favorite couple or can contribute by simply attending the event at $25 for general admission. 100% of all of the money that is raised will be donated to Project Safe and their cause.  

Jason Long, JH Media Group’s CEO, is one of the 10 dance instructors competing to raise funds for the cause. Although the event is not for another three months, Jason and his partner, Sandy Boyles, have been hard at work practicing for the big event. Jason and Sandy have been practicing twice a week to really nail the dance moves that Jason has worked so hard to choreograph for the event. Although many of their competitors are professional dancers, Jason has 14 years of couples-dance experience and attributes his dancing abilities to advice he received from his father at a young age. “When I was a teenager, my Dad recommended that if I wanted to meet girls, I should learn to dance. He was right,” Jason recalls. This wise advice led Jason to be an enthusiast of ballroom dance, swing dance, blues and the Argentine Tango. To combat the steep competition, Jason plans to win the crowd over using skills he gained from participating in the local Athens dance scene that he has been involved with for the past 12 years.
Jason and his Athens Star, Sandy, are both extremely excited to be
participating and helping out for such a great cause.
“Project Safe is such an important piece of Athens, and I am so glad to be a part of the program this year,” Jason explained.
Working with Project Safe, however, will not be the first time that Jason and Sandy have helped out with the Athens community.
“I am a board member for the Georgia Conflict Center and I have been working with the Adopt-A-Class program for the past five and a half years. I also donate time working with kids around town doing lectures on school, work, and life. As well as the occasional speech at the University on some of the more technical aspects of running a business or web design,” Jason listed.
Jason’s partner Sandy is no rookie in the Athens community either. Sandy holds a number of positions in the area, including Chair of the Salvation Army Board, Committee for the Oconee Relay for Life, Head of Team Recruitment for Relay for Life, Team Captain of Relay for Life Team (“Hot Mamas”), Financial Advisor for Delta Delta Delta sorority, Chair of Capital Campaign for Delta Delta Delta sorority, and Chair of Special Gifts Committee at Athens Regional Medical Center’s foundation.
Although not an experienced dancer, Sandy is truly enjoying the experience, working with Jason, and helping with such a wonderful cause. In past years, Sandy assisted Project Safe with monetary donations as well as toiletry donations for the homeless community. Despite revamping her dancing skills, Sandy said, “Project Safe is the reason for joining in the first place.”
Last year, the Dancing with the Athens Stars event raised over $90,000 for Project Safe. In fact, the event is the main fundraiser that keeps Project Safe running all year round.

I was lucky enough to have a sneak peek at Jason and Sandy’s performance and I must say, it is looking sharp! Excitement is already buzzing around the JH Media Group office in anticipation of Jason and Sandy’s performance and the great cause they are supporting. To contribute to the event and get the chance to watch your favorite Athens stars’ best dance moves, purchase your tickets online here.