Dancing with Our Stars raised more than $300,000 for survivors of sexual and intimate partner violence

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY — Lumina Alliance announced that the Lumina Nights Gala, featuring Dancing with Our Stars, was a success. This inaugural event raised more than $300,000 to support survivors of sexual and intimate partner violence. The event took place at Thousand Hills Ranch in Pismo Beach on April 12 and 13 and was attended by a total of 375 guests. 

The Presenting Sponsor was BHE Renewables, who has sponsored Lumina Nights for the past three years. The funds raised at this event will help provide services for survivors in San Luis Obispo County and will have a substantial impact on the lives of survivors and their families.

At the event, the Dancing with Our Stars competition raised almost $82,000, with each local Star Dancer dancing for a specific Lumina Alliance program. The Grand Champion was Cara Crye Wright, president and CEO of Farm Supply Company, who raised $21,938 to support Prevention and Education programs. Jim Dantona, CEO of the SLO Chamber of Commerce, came in second place, raising $18,647 in support of the Advocacy program. The two Fan Favorite winners were Jeff and Joan Buckingham and Jim Dantona, who dazzled attendees with their fabulous performances.


Lumina Alliance also presented its annual Shining Light Awards to San Luis Obispo County community members who have shown a commitment to supporting survivors of sexual and intimate partner violence in SLO County. 

The award recipients were:

  • Ally Award: Chris Lambert, producer and host of the “Your Own Backyard” podcast 
  • Supporter Award: Kimberley Victor, organizer of Fashions for A Purpose 
  • Hero Award: Kara Samaniego: former Lumina Alliance board member and leader of Cal Poly’s Safer program
  • Legacy Award: Jane Pomeroy, former chief communications officer of Lumina Alliance

“We are thrilled that this new event for Lumina Alliance was such an overwhelming success. The important work we do at Lumina Alliance cannot be done without the support of our community, and we are so grateful for the outpouring of generosity. We also owe a great deal of thanks to the sponsors, vendors, dancers, choreographers, and donors who helped to make this event such a success,” said Jennifer Adams, Lumina Alliance CEO.

About Lumina Alliance

Lumina Alliance is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization created by the merging of RISE and Stand Strong in July 2021. Their mission is to empower those impacted by sexual and intimate partner violence through innovative advocacy, healing, and prevention programs. Services include 24/7 crisis and information line, case management, accompaniment and advocacy, emergency shelters, transitional housing, individual and group therapy, and robust prevention education. For more information, please visit LuminaAlliance.org.

Feature Image: (From left) Ally Award winner Chris Lambert is shown with Lumina Alliance CEO Jennifer Adams and Lumina Alliance Board Member Jill LeMieux at the Lumina Nights Gala in April. Photo by Claire E Hartnell Photography