LUMBERTON — A team representing Southeastern Health demonstrated it does care about the community, and took to the stage on Thursday night at the risk of embarrassment to raise money so that United Way can put it to good use locally.
The performance of “Boogie Shoes” by Southeastern Health’s administrative team, The We Care Band, earned the Mo Money award during an inaugural lip-sync challenge by garnering the most votes that came at the cost of $1 each.
The rendition of the KC and the Sunshine Band hit was one of many examples of music ranging in style from the soulful tunes of Marvin Gaye to the upbeat sounds from the classic musical “Grease” that were part of the United Way’s Lip Sync Challenge fundraiser.
About 450 people paid $30 each to come to the Carolina Civic Center to watch nine teams perform to everyone’s delight, and then cast their $1 votes.
The Best Act trophy, based on the decision of a panel of four judges, went to the Tina and Ike act by Drs. Robin Peace and Dennis Stuart. The act featured the duo, and backup singers, singing “Proud Mary” by Ike and Tina Turner.
Latricia Freeman, United Way of Robeson County executive director, was pleased with the turnout — and expects the event to grow as people learn how much fun it was.
“There were great performances. Everybody’s been bragging on it,” Freeman said. “I couldn’t have done it without my team and our volunteers.”
The amount of money raised won’t be known until next week, Freeman said.
“We had a blast,” said Joann Anderson, CEO of Southeastern Health. “We had fun just getting ready for it, and tonight was awesome.”
Peace is a member of the United Way board and familiar with its mission.
“It’s for a good cause. It’s a way to give back to the community and it’s fun,” Peace said. “I didn’t know I wanted to be Tina Turner but girl it felt good being Tina Turner tonight.”
Stuart said he was glad to help support United Way.
“They help a lot of the needy in Robeson County, and we are just happy to be a part of it,” he said.
Laughter and cheers marked the evening as acts tried to replicate the movements — both lips and body — of the artists whose music was played. All nine acts earned praise from judges Mark Andersen, Lisa Rust, Harriette Lovin and Al McPherson.
Robeson County Partnership for Children’s PG2 act had dance moves and fake horn section but hesitated when questioned by Andersen about matching up their fingers with the actual music.
McPherson had accolades for the McIntyres’ “You’re the One That I Want,” from Grease.
“I love your coordination,” McPherson said. “You all are fit for the part.”
After Dr. Staley Jackson performed Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On,” Andersen told him he wasn’t sure if he was “trying to incite a riot or trying to drum up business.”
Sporting 70s-style hair and leisure suits, members of the We Care Band’s “Boogie Shoes” evoked laughter from the judge’s table.
“I want a pair of those boogie shoes,” McPherson said.
And when Bankers United performed “Summer Dreams,” from “Grease,” Lovin said. “It made me dream of summer. You guys were great.”
Rust told the team from W.H. Knuckles Elementary that its song, “Joyful Joyful,” was beautifully presented and she complimented Principal Eric Sanders on his lip-sync rapping skills.
The Brave Men of UNCP nearly brought down the house with The Isley Brothers’ classic, “Shout,” with some performers wearing togas, an homage to the 1978 film, “Animal House.”
“Do you have rubber legs?” Lovin said, complimenting members on their dance moves.
Ending the evening’s competition with Prince’s “Kiss,” John Moore, in full 1980s paisley regalia, received a playful chastisement from Andersen.
“John, you have children?” Andersen said.
Lovin was moved by the performance.
“I loved Prince and you have personified Prince,” she said.
Lovin said she thoroughly being a judge.
“It probably exceeded my expectations,” she said. “I didn’t know what to expect. I’ve seen Lip Sync Battle on TV and I think all of these guys did as good or better as those famous people on TV. We had a lot of good clean fun like we like to have in Robeson County. I couldn’t be prouder of everybody.”
Reach Terri Ferguson Smith at 910-416-5865.