by RYAN LOUGHLIN

The crowd in attendance on Saturday night for the second annual Dancing Under the Atlantic City Stars event knew they were in for a night of great dancing, but the big surprise was how much of a nail-biter the competition turned out to be.

The event, hosted by The Community FoodBank of New Jersey — Southern Branch, was held at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City. The competition pitted 12 dancing couples against each other head-to-head to see who had the best moves and more importantly, who could raise the most money to fight hunger in South Jersey.

The Top 3 contestants and their dance partners raised over $100,000 each, with the Top 2 People’s Choice winners being separated by less than $100 in donations. Fans were able to vote via donation for their favorite contestants on the web before and during the competition. Each vote raised $10, with funds going to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey — Southern Branch. Monies raised in event table sales and program ads also went toward the competition.

An official group of five special guest judges were on hand to judge the actual dance routines. Judges included 6ABC anchor and reporter Rick Williams, reality TV personality Jennifer Aydin, Miss’d America 2020 Sapphira Cristal, real estate developer Mark Callazzo and certified professional dance judge Fred Kaviani.

In the end Joeseph Jingoli Jr., CEO of JINGOLI and a partner at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, and his dance partner Carol Maccri-Gossamer took home the prize for Top Fundraiser of the Night, as well as the People’s Choice award for raising the most money overall, narrowly beating out Don Kelly and Lisa Gottlieb by only $60.

The Judges Choice was won by Johnny Exadaktilos owner of Ducktown Tavern & Liquors and his partner Sarah Jane Acampora with a tie for second place between Leonard Rosenthol and partner Kim Pacitti and Judy Levine and partner Sam Chisholm.

Below is the full list of competitors and winners:

Dance couples:

Johnny Exadaktilos, proprieter Ducktown Tavern & Liquors, and partner Sarah Jane Acampora

Paula Hartman, owner Hartman Home Team Berkshire Hathaway, and partner Raphael Souza

Don Kelly, owner of Kelly Landscaping, and partner Lisa Gottlieb

Brian Broadley, president of Broadley’s Mechanical Contracting, and partner Carrie Reilly

Executive Chef Stephan Johnson, of Dock’s Oyster House, and partner Nicole Stephens

Leonard Rosenthol, Senior Principal Arcitect for PDF with Adobe, and partner Kim Pacitti

Joe Jingoli, CEO at JINGOLI; Chief Business Development Officer, DCO Energy; Partner, Hard Rock Atlantic City, and partner Carol Maccri-Gossamer

Becky Orsatti, former Ms. New Jersey Senior America, and partner Al Henry

Matthew Levinson, Corporate Director, Construction and Real Estate, Atlanticare, and partner Janet Chapman

Julie Fanelli, owner Esthetica Salon & Spa, and partner Ron Curcio

Dr. Bradford S. Tucker, Rothman Institute Sports Medicine Surgeon, and partner Mary Beth Snow

Judy Levine, sales associate Bernie Robbins; chairperson, Matthew Bee Memorial Fund, and

partner Samuel Chisholm

And the winners are ...

Top Judges’ Choice winners:

1) Johnny Exadaktilos and

partner Sarah Jane Acampora

2) Leonard Rosenthol and Kim Pacitti

 and Judy Levine and Sam Chisholm (tie)

Top Fundraiser of the Night:

Joe Jingoli and

Carol Maccri-Gossamer

People’s Choice Top Fundraisers:

1st: Joe Jingoli and Carol Maccri-Gossamer

2nd: Don Kelly and Lisa Gottlieb

3rd: Paula Hartman and Raphael Souza

Photos by Charles Jolson