If you know Betsy Andrews Parker, you’re not surprised she would willingly dance down Dover’s Central Avenue to the Pointer Sisters 1984 hit song "Jump." If you didn’t know her before seeing her dance and lip synch to the song, I’m sure you and several hundred thousand other people now do as the video has blown up and gone viral in the last few days.
Betsy is the chief executive officer of Community Action Partnership of Strafford County and known throughout the community for her work on the school board and with other groups. The organization's fourth annual Lip Synch Battle is coming up next month and to promote the fundraiser and solicit talent, she took to Facebook by showing off her own skills.
When I first saw the video Monday morning, I was so captivated I watched it twice. It was just one of those light-hearted, feel good videos … something you could easily see Ellen DeGeneres doing on her TV show.
"It was really just meant to be something that made people laugh and made people excited so they would come to our event," Betsey said. "I never could have imagined it would go this way and get so much attention."
As of Wednesday afternoon, the video had more than 3,500 shares and 200,000 views on Facebook — in just two days.
I’ve known Betsy for a while, covering school board meetings for WTSN or co-hosting "The Sunday Shuffle" on 98.7 The Bay together. I knew she was a music lover and had a good sense of humor, but this is a side of her I think we all could use a little more of.
The Lip Synch Battle is Nov. 17 at 6:30 at Dover High School’s auditorium. Tickets are $5 each or $20 for a family. I’ll be one of the three judges because, well, let’s just say no one wants to see me dance on stage.
"It’s a lot of fun and a great family show for all ages," said Kristen Welch, Director of Advancement for CAP. "If lip synching’s not your thing, just come watch the show."
Strafford County CAP is also one of the 21 charities we are supporting this year for the 18th annual "Caring and Sharing" food drive, Nov. 16-18 at Seacoast area Hannaford Supermarkets.
"This food drive really helps us restock our shelves and helps with our holiday food basket drive," Betsey said.
I have kids around the same age as Betsy, and I know they’d be mortified if they ever saw their dad dancing down Central Avenue. That’s pretty much how her kids felt.
"They said ‘please, please, please do not do this,' and then I showed them and they asked to not go to school the next day," she said laughing. "But I know I did it for a good cause and a good reason."
Dave Andreesen anchors WTSN's daily "Noon News Hour" and local news updates throughout the day.