Eight local celebrities will compete in “Suneel’s Celebrity Gala,” a fundraiser inspired by “Dancing with the Stars,” from 6 p.m. to midnight Feb. 1 in Statler City.

The dance contest will feature Maryalice Demler, WGRZ-TV Channel 2 anchor; Diana Fairbanks, WIVB-TV Channel 4 anchor; Donna Fernandes, president and CEO Buffalo Zoo; Joel Giambra, former Erie County executive and managing director of Park Strategies; Dave Jickster, radio personality on 97 Rock FM; Stephanie Mateczun, director of the Buffalo Jills and part-time host of AM Buffalo on WKBW-TV; Aaron Mentkowski, WKBW-TV Channel 7 meteorologist; and Kevin Sylvester, Buffalo Sabres broadcaster. Each celebrity will be teamed up with a participating dance school.

The event is a benefit for Suneel’s Light Foundation, a local nonprofit that raises funds for research leading to a cure of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, while increasing awareness of the genetic disease.

An event-specific website,, featuring videos of the contestants receiving dancing lessons, allows viewers to vote for their favorites at a cost of $1, which benefits Suneels Light.

Tickets for the black-tie affair are $175 per person, $325 a couple, and are available online at More information can also be obtained at the same website, by calling 856-9704 or at