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The Stars

We’re pleased to introduce you to the brave and talented souls who stepped up as our dancing “stars.”  These people have donated many hours of time and energy, endured sore feet, pulled muscles and bruised egos — all to raise funds for Sparrow Clubs.  A tip of our top hat to you, Central Oregon Stars!

Scott Besaw - "The Realtor Supreme"

Scott holds a Masters Degrees in Teaching (and is only a handful of credits short of a Doctorate in Education. Who'd have thunk??) After seven years as a teacher, and with a new family to support, Scott realized that many of the skills he learned as an Educator, as well as his passion for teaching and helping others, could be successfully transferred to the Real Estate industry.

Scott was first licensed as a Realtor in 2004 and opened his own brokerage, Stellar Realty Northwest, in Portland in 2009 and later opened the Bend office in 2014. Between both offices he leads a team of over 35 Realtors and staff members (plus an office Bulldog, Murray.) In addition to enjoying helping people buy and sell real estate, and successfully negotiating deals, he really enjoys the training component of having his own brokerage and the culture of team work and camaraderie that he's developed in both offices.

Scott’s passions outside of work include supporting his Beloved Oregon Ducks and enjoying all the outdoor activities that brought him and his family to Central Oregon. He's also in his 7th year of coaching his son's football team and enjoys watching both of his middle school kids' sporting events and activities. And, last, but definitely not least, he enjoys meeting his buddies (almost) weekly for Mug Club at a local Brewpub.

Scott and his dance professional, Hayley, are going to sell you one sweet dance! You can vote for them here: Scott and Hayley


Packy Deenihan - "The Master of Hops"

​Packy and his wife, Leslie, are the new Co-Owners at Bend Brewing Co. They moved to Bend in October 2015 and couldn't be more thrilled with everything the town has to offer! Packy grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area before attending Oregon State University, where he played on their soccer team. While in Corvallis, he would routinely take weekend trips to Bend and fell in love with Mt. Bachelor. 

After graduation, Packy moved to Bend for 2 years and worked at the mountain as a lift operator. He also started a French Crepe Street Cart business at Bend's farmer's markets, concerts, and even the late night crowd downtown. In order to grow his career, he moved to Denver, where he met Leslie, and spent 5 years working in the technology sales industry. His latest role relocated Leslie and him to San Francisco where they spent a year and half in the city.

After spending any free weekend driving up to Bend, they decided to make it permanent and move back to the mountains. Along with the move came another change of breaking into the craft beer industry and are thrilled to be the new owners of Bend Brewing Co! When Packy isn't at BBC, you'll find him snowboarding, golfing, biking with the dogs or floating the river!

Packy and his dance professional, Gabriela, are brewing up one heck of a performance! You can vote for them here: Packy and Gabriela


Sam McCoy - "The Duchess of Cider"

I was introduced to cider early on as my mom is British and I spent a year at studying and working in a pub at the University of Brighton, England. 

After graduating from college, my husband Dan and I traveled extensively and developed a shared love for cider and found ourselves sampling different varieties from around the world.  We traveled extensively in Europe and Africa and then settled in Bend to start our teaching careers. 

6 years later we decided there was a hole in the Bend market and set our sites on starting a craft hard cider company-and a family of three small children.  With a passion for hard cider, and hard work, we have grown our company to the #1 selling craft hard cider company in Oregon and aren't stopping anytime soon. 

Sam and her dance professional, Sean, are ready to bring home the Mirror Ball, but they need your help to do it! You can vote for them here: Sam and Sean


John McLeod - "The Mountain Mogul"

John is the current President and General Manager of Mt Bachelor and more recently Sun Country Tours. John moved to Bend in 2005 with his wife Christy and their two sons Jack (12) and Charlie (11), and has been enjoying the Central Oregon lifestyle ever since. On any weekend this might include camping, fishing, biking, golf, or watching a variety of youth sports. When the snow flies skiing the awesome terrain of Mt Bachelor becomes the primary focus for both work and play.  

Dancing on the other hand has not been a major feature of John’s lifestyle, although during his childhood years in rural Australia the main social event of the week was the “dance” at the local community hall every Saturday night, where his grandparents would steal the show with their ballroom dancing skills. These were apparently not part of the genetic package passed down to John.

John previously served on the advisory board of Sparrow Clubs and is looking forward to once again supporting this great cause by going way outside his comfort zone to put on the dance performance of the moment with his partner Tammy.  “Actually, just surviving the experience intact will be an accomplishment having seen John’s white man hip moves” – Tammy Goen.

John and his dance professional, Tammy, want to get out of the gate strong and deliver an unforgettable performance for Sparrow Clubs! You can vote for them here: John and Tammy

 Heather Nashelle - "The Queen of Bling"

Growing up, Heather thought she was going to be a shoe designer or dress maker. She envied all of her friends that could make jewelry; for her, it did not come naturally. After studying metal arts at the University of Alaska Southeast, it opened up a whole new world of design, and from that she became inspired by the simplicity of metal and stone combined. When she works, it is almost as if the designs come naturally to their own completion.  She pays a lot of attention to the changing of the seasons and draw on nature for inspiration, but she also pays a lot of attention to the many facets of women and how we change our look depending on our mood.

She started Nashelle Jewelry about 17 years ago. Many of her friends remember her sitting on her living room floor day after day creating, and literally selling jewelry off her own neck. In 2005, shortly after she gave birth to her first son, she decided to take her little business to a national level and began selling wholesale.

In 2006, she took a leap of faith and leased a large warehouse in the beautiful town of Bend, Oregon to facilitate it’s growth. They are now a team of over forty amazingly talented designers, jewelry makers, and office bees. Each person brings a different element to the company and to the Nashelle line. The response continues to be tremendous and she is SO grateful that she has been able to turn her passion into her lifelong career.

Heather and her dance professional, Andres, are crafting up a dance you won't soon forget! You can vote for this dynamic duo here: Heather and Andres 

Leslie Neugebauer - "The Director of Well-Being"

​Leslie moved to Central Oregon five years ago in hopes of a change in scenery and pace from the busy San Francisco Bay Area. She and her husband bought a fixer-upper farmhouse on 10 acres with their Dexter cattle, chickens, and dogs. Leslie works for PacificSource Health Plans as the Director of Central Oregon Medicaid and enjoys the work she does to support our community members and their experiences with the Oregon Health Plan.

She was introduced to Sparrow Clubs when PacificSource sponsored last year’s Swinging with the Stars and became immediately intrigued at the organization’s mission. Leslie spent most of her clinical professional career working with adolescents experiencing mental health and substance use issues. What she learned during that time was that children are resilient and they are actually quite interested in helping others in need and servicing their community. The Sparrow Club’s unique model of engaging children and adolescents for such important causes is heartwarming and she feels so honored to be a small part of this organization. In Leslie’s spare time she enjoys the multiple outdoor events and activities the Bend community has to offer, dancing at Jazzercise, and spending time with her family. 

Leslie and her dance professional, Chuck, have you covered with a spectacular dance performance, but they need your help to bring home the Peoples Choice Award! Vote for them here: Leslie and Chuck

JD Platt - "The K9 King"

JD grew up in Bend. His life story has been filled with blessings, hard work, dedication and lots of fun. As a child in Bend he was very involved with sports and dance. He was a part of a local Breakdance crew where he gave lessons, entertained and did competitions throughout Central Oregon.

His life story for adulthood changed right out of High School when he was sponsored as a Professional Snowboarder. He traveled the world for over 13 years competing in Halfpipe, Big Air, Racing and Boardercross events. It was an amazing life that he cherished and is still involved with to this day.

Life took a turn in 1996, as he was hitchhiking home from Mt. Bachelor and a guy picked him up who was a Professional Frisbee Dog Entertainer for the NFL. From meeting him to this day, he has been a Professional K9 Entertainer. For over 20 years, he has been traveling the country entertaining with his amazing team of 11 K9 athletes. You may have seen his big black and yellow dog truck in town! He absolutely loves what he does for a living and has always been passionate about animals. He feel extremely grateful to be touching the hearts of his fans around the country with his beautiful dogs. 

Too be chosen and performing on the stage at The Tower is something he is inspired by and really looking forward to in October! He wants to thank Central Oregon Sparrow Clubs for this great opportunity and he will see you all on the dance floor soon!

JD and his dance partner, Nastassia, are planning on having the performance of a lifetime and want to take home the Mirror Ball, but they need your help! You can vote for them here: JD and Nastassia

Heather Walker - "The Excel Expert"

Heather is a native Oregonian who was raised in Northeastern Oregon. After living in Portland to attend college, she moved to Bend with her husband. They established Walker Structural Engineering LLC in 2004, and continue to grow the business. Their daughters Ally and Reese (ages 9 and 7 respectively) keep her busy with soccer, skiing, and soon to be horses on their recently purchased acreage. Heather refers to this new endeavor as going back to her roots.  

Heather's background is finance/accounting and she enjoys
spending countless hours in Excel. When she can sneak in time for herself, she enjoys all the wonderful activities Bend has to offer!

She was thrilled when paired with a professional country dancer as she "taught" country swing in high school. Heather and Jordan will perform the first country act for Swinging with the Stars this year and are hoping to do-si-do their way to the top, but they need your help! You can vote for them here: Heather and Jordan

Larry Weber - "The Skincare Specialist"

​Larry was born in a small town in South Dakota where his father played in a country western band. He grew up with 4 older sisters who taught him how to dance at a very young age, while listening to his dad's band. His love for music started when he was very young and has not stopped. 

He attended the University of Utah Physicians Assistants Program in 1983 to 1985. He moved to Bend in 1997 and has been with Bend Dermatology ever since.

He has 2 wonderful daughters Natalie, who lives in Salt Lake City and Whitney, who lives in Tucson. Both of his daughters attended Bend High where they were active in the Sparrow Club. Larry is pleased now to be able to also be active in raising money for Sparrow Club as they did back in High School.

He enjoys the active life style everyone has who lives in Bend. When he is not working, he likes to be out hiking; doing some mountain biking, as well as, spending time on the golf course. He is very grateful to be able to be part of the Swinging with the Stars and would like to dedicate his dance in memory of his Dad who gave him the love for music.     

Larry and his professional dance partner, Deb, are doctoring up one incredible performance! You can vote for them here: Larry and Deb

Patrick Wurtz - "The Clothing-for-a-Cause Boss"

​Patrick was born in Southern California and his family transplanted to Bend, Oregon in 1991 (yes one of them!).

Patrick attended Elementary, Middle and High School in Bend while eventually graduating from Bend Senior High School in 2003. He then attended the University of Oregon where he graduated with a Business Degree in 2007. He is a die hard Duck fan!

With big plans on getting into the corporate business world and moving to a big city the economy changed drastically. He ended up getting a serving job to get by. At the same time he co-founded 541 Threads Clothing, now called Be Oregon. The brand is based on feeding Central Oregonians through the food bank for every clothing item it sells. To date Be Oregon/541 Threads has provided over 100,000 meals to locals that otherwise can’t afford to eat.

Patrick is an Entrepreneur... Philanthropist... Bartender... and overall lover of life!

Patrick and his professional dance partner, Kara, are creating one spectacular dance, but it's up to you if they take home the Mirror Ball! You can vote for them here: Patrick and Kara