Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme


Posted in Events, Uncategorized by megganmccarthy on July 10, 2009

Recently retired Commander of Naval Base Ventura County, Captain Brad “Brick” Conners and his dance partner, Vanessa Hernandez, District Representative for Congresswoman Lois Capps, will salsa their way across the stage on Saturday, July 25 to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme (BGCOP). This “Dancing with the Stars” -styled event is in its third year at the Oxnard Salsa Festival and is the second year of participation for the Club. Each dollar donated to the event equals one vote for the dancing couple. The Club hopes to raise more than $20,000 to go directly toward programming costs for local youth.

“I can’t wait to take on this new challenge and look forward to perfecting ‘top dance’ salsa maneuvers for this mission. With Vanessa’s sure-fire techniques and training I know we will land this competition for the Club,” said Connors.

Conners continues his unprecedented legacy of community advocacy and engagement in Ventura County, the place he has decided to call his home for life. This celebrated combat fighter pilot and Top Gun instructor has redirected his intense focus, passion, and energy toward several community projects and organizations with a particular emphasis on abused and neglected children.

“I couldn’t ask for a better partner than someone with Brick’s winner-take-all spirit,” said Hernandez. “I love sharing my love for Latin dance with him and with the dedication and fun he brings to rehearsals, we will fly past the others to win this for The Club.”

Vanessa Hernandez has taken dance classes since the age of three. Tap, ballet, jazz and highland have helped her gain an appreciation for the various styles of dance and the many ways of expressing feelings through dance. In the late 90s, she began training in partner dancing in both American Smooth (Ballroom) and American Rhythm (Latin) with her partner, Russell Adcock.  Hernandez currently teaches at the House of Dance in Ventura.

“As fundraising becomes more difficult during these trying times, we are incredibly grateful to Brick and Vanessa for choosing us as the beneficiary of a really fun and exciting event that’s gained a lot of momentum since our first participation two years ago,” said Tim Blaylock, chief professional officer, BGCOP. “Chief Crombach did a great job in 2007 and this year we look forward to seeing Brick and Vanessa out on the stage. It’s not often you’ll see a former fighter pilot dance in public like this and I think that will be a draw for this community.” To cast a vote online for Connors and contribute to BGCOP visit:


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