Orlando CEO turned showstopper sets fundraising record in dance competition

Chassity Vega was taped as a celebrity dancer but her fundraising efforts are what made her a superstar

Chassity Vega stepped out of her comfort zone for charity and became a record holding fundraiser in the process.

This week’s Getting Results Award winner went from typing to the tango.

Chassity Vega stepped out of her comfort zone for charity and ran a record holding fundraiser in the process.

Vega, CEO of The Greater Orlando Builders Association (GOBA) spent months training for the Dance Dream & Inspire ballroom dancing competition to support the nonprofit, Embrace Families.

“It’s unbelievable, it really is,” Vega said as she watched video from the May 7 competition on her phone. “I think I’m going to be talking about it for years to come. I can’t believe I was on that stage.”

The stage was at Hard Rock Live Orlando. Vega and her dance partner, Jose Perez, ended up winning the award for most popular couple. The two performed a boxing-themed routine.

“I was tapped to dance, and while I love dancing in the mirror, I had no idea what it was going to entail,” Vega said. “Training was a lot different than I expected. Just as you see on the TV show. It’s hard work.”

Vega relied on her network of GOBA partners to contribute to her pledge campaign. Vega was able to raise more than $25,000 to support Embrace Families, a Central Florida nonprofit that serves foster families.

Gerry Glynn, chief legal officer at Embrace Families, said that money is needed. Embrace Families is one of 16 nonprofits in the state that manage the foster care system. Glynn said government funding can come with restrictions and having additional funds that they can use at their discretion is helpful.

“Whenever there’s government funds there’s all kinds of restrictions about how you use it,” Glynn said. “So these fundraisers allow us to provide that flexibility to be able to serve families where they are.”

Glynn said the money can be used for summer programs, for extra services geared toward youth transitioning into adulthood and out of foster care, and for families in crisis.

Glynn said Vega set the standard for fundraising this year.

“She was our largest fundraiser, I think, ever,” Glynn said. “She raised more money than any dancer has in the past.”

Vega said she couldn’t have done it without support from the 700 GOBA member companies.

“We are community builders. Whether we’re building a home for Habitat for Humanity or we’re building a home for heroes. We give back a tremendous amount to this community and it was shown immediately in raising those dollars.”

Even though the event is over, you can still donate and support Embrace Families through their website.

About the Author:

Paul is a Florida native who graduated from the University of Central Florida. As a multimedia journalist, Paul enjoys profiling the people and places that make Central Florida unique.