In its Dec. 19 issue, Mid Rivers Newsmagazine featured two young women with Down syndrome who by their actions have become advocates for individuals with disabilities. One of those women, Wentzville resident Ally Nichols, was preparing to perform in Dancing with the St. Louis Stars.
On Jan. 28, five St. Louis business leaders and dance instructors competed at the Ritz-Carlton in an event that raised more than $500,000 for the Independence Center, which provides comprehensive programs and services to people with mental illnesses.
And Nichols won.
Not only was Nichols named the Dancing MVP and Dance Champion, she and her dance partner, Mike McAllister, were also named the Judge’s Favorite. The duo danced to “Come Alive” from The Greatest Showman, and fundraised more than $133,000 through votes, tickets, tables and sponsorships. Dancers campaigned for votes [$10 per vote] with the pair’s original goal being $30,000.
Nichols is the daughter of Greg and Lisa Nichols, the CEO of Technology Partners, Inc. in Chesterfield.
“It was just a magical night,” Lisa told Mid Rivers Newsmagazine. “Ally probably had over 100 people at the event to support her.”
Nichols plans to continue competitive dancing and is slated to participate in the annual Mayors’ Charity Ball in St. Charles on April 13. McAllister will serve as Nichols’ dance instructor; her partner will be Mayor Jim Hennessey of Cottleville.
“She loves to help people,” Lisa Nichols said. “It was exciting for her to get to raise this money for the Independence Center … [and] they may have helped her.”