The sixth annual Dance Party to End ALZ, the event founded by Kimberly Williams-Paisley, took place on Sunday (Nov. 12) at Nashville’s Wildhorse Saloon, and raised over $300,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association Research Grant program.
The party was hosted by Hallmark actor and director Ashley Williams and Hallmark actor, producer and writer Nikki DeLoach, and emceed by Apple Music radio host Kelleigh Bannen. Williams and DeLoach opened the evening with a surprise performance of “Party In the U.S.A.” before welcoming guests and sharing why co-hosting the event meant so much to them after both losing a parent to dementia. Williams’ mom, Linda, passed away with Alzheimer’s in 2016, and DeLoach’s dad, David, passed away with Pick’s Disease, a rare form of dementia, in 2021.
“We are beyond grateful to the Nashville community, performers, generous sponsors and attendees near and far who joined us at the sixth annual Dance Party to End ALZ,” said the co-hosts. “Everyone coming together for this cause means the world to us and our families. Together, we raised awareness and funds to support the Alzheimer’s Association’s research grant program, which is helping us get one step closer to ending Alzheimer’s and all other dementia.”
Dressed in 2000s fashion, performers took to the stage with Wildhorse Saloon’s house band, Three Lane, and covered throwback hits.
Jay Allen gave his take on “Kryptonite,” and was joined by wife, fellow artist Kylie Morgan, to perform his song “No Present Like the Time.” Melinda Doolittle performed her versions of “Crazy In Love” and “Since You’ve Been Gone,” while Charles Esten channeled Billie Joe Armstrong for “Wake Me Up When September Ends.” Paul Freeman sang his rendition of “Mr. Brightside,” and Paul Greene put his spin on “Seven Nation Army.” Ginna Claire Mason performed “Before He Cheats,” MaRynn Taylor serenaded the crowd with “Complicated,” while Alicia Witt channeled Britney Spears for “Lucky.”
The function also featured Noah Thompson’s take on “Move Along,” the Hallmark stars’ “I Gotta Feeling” group number and a group finale to “Beautiful Day.”
Williams-Paisley was also in attendance along with Benjamin Ayres, Brooke D’Orsay, Cindy Busby, Danica McKeller, Erich Hover, Erin Cahill, Jen Lilley, Jesse Hutch, Kristoffer Polaha, Melissa Joan Hart, Riley Weston, Sarah Drew and Trevor Donovan.
This year’s Event Committee included Williams; DeLoach; Annie Howell, Chief Communications Officer, Hallmark Media; Blake McDaniel, Music Touring Agent, CAA; Andrew Walker, actor, producer and Co-Founder, Little West; and Jay Williams, CEO & Apiarist, Williams Honey Farm.
To date, Dance Party to End ALZ has raised more than $2.1 million to fund diverse and exciting Alzheimer’s research—from studying the impacts of genetics and sleep on the brain, to developing a smartwatch-based intervention for dementia risk reduction.
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