Everyday Heroes: Dancing for a good cause

Amway Chief Reputation Officer Candace Matthews is dressed in Western gear for a charity dance competition. She is swinging a lasso above her head.

Amway employee Bethany Kaczanowski wanted to do some good during the coronavirus pandemic. When she heard about The Groove, an online dance competition to raise money for West Michigan health care workers, she put on her dancing shoes.

“A lot of us were feeling helpless during the lockdown,” says Bethany, a skincare formulator for Amway. “I thought this was a good way to give back. And I really love to dance.”

Siblings David and Bethany Kaczanowski pose in their all black dance costumes.

Siblings David and Bethany Kaczanowski

Feelin’ groovy

She recruited her younger brother, David, to join her, and the two started movin’ and groovin’. They recorded 42 dance videos during the five-week competition, which was sponsored by Amway. They went disco, got funky in cowboy hats, slid across floors and showed off their hip hop moves. One of their entries earned the second place prize of $2,000.

Other Amway employees also entered the contest, including Amway Chief Reputation Officer Candace Matthews and Amway North America Managing Director Jim Ayres, who each uploaded a video of themselves dancing.

A win for health care workers

By participating in efforts to help during the global health crisis, everyday people like Bethany and other Amway employees join the ranks of Everyday Heroes – and Amway is celebrating their stories.

Each time a 30-second dance video was uploaded to The Groove’s app, Amway and other corporations made a donation. The videos racked up more than 2 million views and more than $250,000 was raised for West Michigan’s front-line health care workers.

Amway Chief Reputation Officer Candace Matthews is dressed in Western gear, including a cowboy hat and cowboy boots, for a charity dance competition. She is swinging a lasso above her head.

Candace Matthews

A good cause and a good laugh

The competition was the idea of Jeff Bennett and Michael Ranville, two Grand Rapids entrepreneurs who wanted to thank health care workers for their dedication during the pandemic.

“They were the real heroes, going to work every day, healing people and supporting them emotionally,” Jeff says. “It takes a special kind of caregiver to do that work day in and day out.”

Jeff and Michael also wanted to spark some joy. “We knew our community needed to laugh again, to smile again and to feel connected,” Jeff adds.

Costumes were key

Jim and Candace were happy to add to the laughter. Candace entered a video of her swinging a lasso and wearing Western gear, complete with cowboy hat and boots. Jim’s video showcased his moves to a disco tune while he wore a Scottish kilt.

Amway North America Managing Director Jim Ayres honors his Scottish heritage by wearing a kilt for the charity dance competition.

Jim Ayres

“I believe it’s important to support a good cause – and also to laugh at myself,” he said.

More important, Jim appreciates the risks that health care workers are taking to help the community through the COVID-19 crisis. “Their work is dangerous and stressful for them and their families,” he said. “They need and deserve our support and recognition.”

Be inspired to do good

Want to see some of the smooth moves people submitted? Download The Groove Dance Competition app for your iOS® or Android® device to check out the winning dances.

And you can read more great stories about Amway IBOs, philanthropic partners and employees who lead with their hearts and are taking positive action during the pandemic at Amway Connections. Let the stories inspire you as we all continue to make the world a better place.

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