2022 Dancers

Paul M. Aloise Jr.

Paul's Fundraising Page

Paul attended Florida State University where he graduated with degrees in Criminology and Sport Management. In addition to his undergraduate studies, Paul played linebacker for the FSU football team and was a member of the 2013 BCS National Championship team. After graduating from FSU College of Law, Paul worked as a prosecutor at the State Attorney’s Office in both the 15th Circuit and the 2nd Judicial Circuits. where he lead counsel in the Juvenile, Misdemeanor and Felony divisions. For his work, he has been honored with several awards including being named a Super Lawyer’s Florida Rising Star in 2021 and 2022, National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40 for Criminal Defense from 2020 to 2022, and AVVO Clients Choice award the last two years.

Tony Fusco

Tony's Fundraising Page

Tony was born in Oxford, England while his father was stationed there as an officer in the Air Force, and he grew up in Venice, Florida. Tony is a proud Eagle Scout. While obtaining his undergraduate degree at Florida State University, Tony was heavily involved in assisting those in need. He says he became a lawyer because, “I believe that when something is wrong, someone needs to stand up and make it better.” He attended The Florida State University College of Law where he was a member of Business Review Journal and the President of the College Trial Team, competing in litigation competitions against top law schools across the nation. He currently coaches youth soccer and Mock Trial at FSU College of Law.

Khari James

Khari's Fundraising Page

Khari James is an Assistant State Attorney at the State Attorney’s Office, 2nd Judicial Circuit. She prosecutes a wide range of felony offenses involving human trafficking, homicidal violence, sexual violence, firearms, and narcotics. She is also cross-sworn as a Special Assistant United States Attorney. In this role, she assists in the prosecution of federal human trafficking offenses. Khari is currently a member of Leadership Tallahassee: Class 40 and is a zealous advocate for the at-risk and underserved populations in our community. She worked at The White House, the Department of Homeland Security: Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, and clerked for the federal judiciary in Chicago.



Jason Newlin

Jason's Fundraising Page

Jason Newlin is an Investigator for the State Attorney’s Office Second Judicial Circuit in Leon County Florida. Jason graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in Criminology and finished Pat Thomas Law Enforcement Academy, becoming a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commissioned Officer. In 2007, Jason joined the U.S. Marshals Violent Fugitive Task Force and remains an active member of the apprehension team today. Jason has been in his current position at the State Attorney’s Office for over 12 years and throughout his career, Jason has remained dedicated to victims. The Attorney General, Pam Bondi, recognized him with the Distinguished Victim Services Award in 2016.



Samantha Padgett

Samantha's Fundraising Page

Samantha Padgett serves as Vice President of Government Relations and General Counsel for the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA). Samantha oversees FRLA’s Government Relations agenda and provides legal counsel and service to the association and its leadership. She serves as an advocate for the restaurant and lodging industries at the federal, state, and local levels. Samantha graduated cum laude from the University of Florida College of Law and received her B.A. from Emory University.  She enjoys reading, movies, rollercoasters, Florida Gator Football, and being a baseball/soccer mom.



Elizabeth Ricci

Elizabeth's Fundraising Page

Elizabeth is an award-winning immigration attorney and well known for her pro bono work, she was named the “Go-to lawyer for veterans” by the Philadelphia Enquirer and is a Presidential appointment to the Selective Service System Board.  Ricci has taught immigration and written scholarly articles in the Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court and for the Harvard Gay & Lesbian Review. She practices law with her husband, Dancing with the Stars alumnus Neil Rambana with whom she has two teenage daughters.

Her motto is “the ‘no’ is always out there.  Seek the ‘yes’.”


Jamie Van Pelt

Jamie's Fundraising Page

Jamie Van Pelt is the President of ESPMedia Co. where he specializes in strategic communication, marketing, and crisis management for a diverse clientele. With years of experience and influence, Jamie serves as a trusted strategist and communicator for governments, businesses, associations, political campaigns, non-profits, hospitals, and more. Jamie was named a “Top 20 Under 40” by the Tallahassee Network of Young Professionals, and is a graduate of Leadership Tallahassee Class 34. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Challenger Learning Center, Elder Care Services, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and is a member of the Big Bend Minority Chamber of Commerce Leadership Team.

Jessica Yeary

Jessica's Fundraising Page

Jessica Yeary is the Public Defender for Florida’s Second Judicial Circuit. A criminal defense attorney for over a decade, she is Board Certified in Criminal Trial Law and proudly served two terms as President of the Tallahassee Chapter of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. As the elected Public Defender, she continues to handle cases in the courtroom and is currently defending all of the children charged as adults in her office.