The National Kidney Foundation of Arizona’s largest fundraising event, Dancing with the Stars Arizona 2013: Hooray for Hollywood, drew a record-breaking crowd of more than 1,000 guests on Feb. 22 to the Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale. The annual gala raised more than $640,000 for kidney patients and families throughout the state.

Closely following the structure of the successful ABC-TV program, “Dancing with the Stars,” well-known Arizona residents were coached by professional dance instructors to compete against one another in support of the patient organization. Money raised by the annual event –– each contestant had to have a minimum of $25,000 in pledges –– provide funding for NKF AZ’s direct patient aid and GFR education and donor awareness programs across Arizona.

This year’s winners of the Judges’ Choice Awards were Phoenix Children’s Hospital pediatric critical care nurse Stephanie Sandor (Individual Female Category); and Jim Norton, Government & Public Affairs Director at R&R Partners (Individual Male Category ). 

Winners of the 2013 People’s Choice Awards include Nicole Bidwell, Director of Community Affairs for the Arizona Cardinals (Individual Female Category); and Scott Smith, mayor of Mesa (Individual Male Category).