Local stars dance to fight cancer

Photo by Michael Buckelew

Photo by Michael Buckelew

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Clyde Strickland's wife, Sandra, was diagnosed with cancer at 28. His brother died at 71, his father-in-law at 52 and his mother-in-law at 67, all after battling the disease.

Today, the 71-year-old CEO of Metro Waterproofing will step onto a dance floor to help raise money to fight the disease that has affected so many in his family and so many families everywhere.

"Even though I was probably the worst candidate in the world, I said, 'Well, if those people can live with cancer, I can go do this,'" Strickland said.

He is one of four people who will compete in Dance with the Stars Atlanta -- borrowing on the popularity of "Dancing with the Stars," the reality television show that pairs celebrities with professional dance partners in a competition for bragging rights, the American Cancer Society is holding for the second year its own dance-off featuring local stars.

Strickland will compete against Herman Pennamon, community relations manager for Georgia Power, CBS Atlanta anchor JaQuitta Williams and former Atlanta Braves outfielder Brian Jordan in a contest in which everyone wins.

Proceeds from the event, which is officially the 36th annual

Crusaders' Ball, benefit the American Cancer Society's fight against cancer.

Strickland will be dancing a waltz and a rumba -- the latter to a song from the film "Dirty Dancing" -- during the event, which will begin at 7 p.m.

"They're both so different," he said. "They're really good, entertaining pieces we're doing and I'm having fun with it. It's exciting because I'm a person that always likes to do different things and I've always been adventurous."

Tickets to Dance with the Stars Atlanta are $125 each and the event will include live entertainment, silent and live auctions and dinner provided by Outback Steakhouse. For more information on the fundraiser, call the American Cancer Society at 770-814-0123 or visit www.dancewithstarsatlanta.org.