Valley celeb to dance for dollars |

Valley celeb to dance for dollars

Since moving to the Valley in 1998, Mike Olson has held the positions of planning commissioner, county commissioner, and most recently Senior Advisory Board member. One of his most significant contributions to the community was his work on the approval and building of the community center. He believes it is vital to provide a place for our youth to gather and a venue for community events. Olson currently works with Pro Group Management as a senior marketing specialist.

If you live in the area, you have likely seen him in one his performances as a character on our local cemetery tours and historical reenactments in Douglas and Alpine counties. And who could forget the magnificent job he does as emcee at Gardnerville’s annual Coffin Races? Always ready to try something new, he recently expanded his range to support the Suicide Prevention Network’s “Gotta Dance” fundraiser on March 23 at the Douglas County Community & Senior Center. A sellout crowd of 500 people is expected.

This charitable effort is close to Olson’s heart. He became poignantly aware of the high suicide rate Douglas County was experiencing as a commissioner when two young people well known to his family were lost to the tragedy. “We raise good kids here,” says Olson. “Our community needs to do everything we can to protect them from making this irreversible decision.”

Olson refers to his part in the upcoming fundraiser as an interesting adventure. “I am so fortunate to have been assigned a great partner in Mariana Aguilar, an accomplished local Zumba instructor. Her patience and encouragement have proven beneficial to the success of the team. Especially for someone like me with no rhythm,” he adds humbly.

The Douglas County Suicide Prevention Network never had a fundraiser until 2013 when Debbie Posnien, executive director and organizer, came up with the idea for “Gotta Dance.” The event offers great entertainment while raising money to help keep Suicide Prevention Network’s doors open and providing intervention, education and support services at no charge.

Dubbed Carson Valley’s version of “Dancing with the Stars,” contestants and their instructors have been rehearsing for weeks and are asking the community to donate “dancing dollars” before the event. During the first round the two couples who have earned the highest support from the audience and online, plus one other couple selected by the judges, will move on to the final dance-off. The judges choose the winner of the dance-off, who receives the “Gotta Dance” trophy.

If you are unable to attend but want to support Mike Olson and his partner, Mariana, or any of the other eight competing couples, please go to the website for information or to make your donation. Other celebrity contestants include Tiki Berman and Alex; Linda Burdick and Eric; Nadine Charcanowski and Kooper; Christy Degenhart and Angelo; Eddie Dimock and Misty; Ben Gelbaum and Shayla; Brian Trute and Julie or Todd Whear and Monique. Your donations are greatly appreciated and may be tax deductible (TAX ID: 73-1646702).

Contact Anita Kornoff at