Dave and Lisa Stephenson wowed the audience with their dance to the soundtrack from the movie Grease. - Image: Nica Graziotto

Big money at Swinging with Stars

Over a quarter-million raised in unique event, the Central Okanagan Hospice Assocaition fundraiser

The Central Okanagan Hospice Association (COHA) came out as the big winner on Saturday evening as the 9th Annual Swinging with the Stars event raised over $250,000 for the charity.

Since the inception of the fundraiser nine years ago, more than $1.4 million has been garnered for the hospice association through the event, the group’s largest annual fundraising event.

Presented by title sponsor Jane Hoffman Group Coldwell Banker Horizon Realty, the event saw local ‘dancing stars’ perform in an Oscar style evening showcasing dances from Hollywood films.

All funds raised this year are earmarked for the hospice’s bereavement program as well as the group’s move to their new Centre at 1890 Cooper Road.

Event coordinator Jan Woolsey said the event was a huge success thanks to the amazing participants and the movie theme this year provided a very entertaining evening, noting that the help dancers receive from professional dance instructors is so important to this event.

“With dances performed from movies like Grease, Dirty Dancing and Saturday Night Fever that everyone in the audience knew provided a most entertaining night,” said Woolsey. “We could not produce this event without the amazing support of our local dancing stars and the dance community. Our performers sign on with a goal to not only learn and perform a dance routine but also to raise funds with a campaign team in support of COHA.”

This year, the Most Pledges Raised trophy was awarded to Alex Lambert, CEO, The Garage Sale Luxury Auction House with a record breaking $85,310 raised. The six dance teams raised over $156,265. Maria Graziano, owner of Bliss Bridal Boutique and her professional dance partner Jaime Cuberos of Latinesque Ballroom and Latin Dance Studio, won the Judges’ Choice trophy, performing the iconic dance routine to the song, Time of My Life from the movie, Dirty Dancing.

The Audience Choice trophy was won by Wilbur Turner, owner of Kelowna Wine and Art Piano Bar, and his partner Albert Ascona, a Westjet flight attendant. They wowed the audience with an energetic disco performance from Saturday Night Fever. Their routine was choreographed by Carley Bailey of the Canadian School of Ballet.

COHA Executive Director Natasha Girard commented on the nine years of success for this event.

“We know we have a truly unique, entertaining and popular event that the entire community enjoys,” she said. “It is something people look forward to, something different from our other fundraising events. This is a key to our success and we look forward to our 10th year. “

The Central Okanagan Hospice Association is a community-based non-profit organization that provides services and supports, through trained volunteers, to individuals living with or dying from advanced illnesses and their loved ones.

Just Posted

Kelowna Chiefs win in epic overtime battle in emotional memorial night to late owner

The Chiefs hounoured Grant Sheridan with a win in the team’s home-opener

West Kelowna won’t get an urgent care centre says health minister

Adrian Dix says other options are being considered to improve health services on Westside

Climate protesters temporarily shut down Bernard Avenue in Kelowna

Protesters are demanding politicans take action to stop climate change

Climate change hot topic at election forum in Kelowna

Just seven of the 12 candidates in Kelowna’s two ridings were present for the forum

Climate change rally held outside Kelowna City Hall

People protested outside Kelowna City Hall today to demand more action on climate change

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Takaya, B.C.’s infamous lone wolf, seen eating seal and howling away on Discovery Island

Fun facts about Takaya the wolf, like his a 36-hour tour around Chatham, Discovery Islands

Graffiti, calls and Snapchat: RCMP probe string of threats targeting Kamloops schools

There have been nine different threats made to four different schools in the city

Oak Bay father’s testimony at murder trial like plot of ‘bad low-budget movie:’ Crown

Crown alleged Andrew Berry’s ‘entire story of Christmas Day is a lie’

B.C. truck drivers to face higher fines for not using winter tire chains

As of Oct. 1, not using chains on the highway when required could net you a $598 ticket

Singh campaigns in Toronto, May in Winnipeg, as Liberal and Tory leaders pause

All parties expected to be back on the campaign trail Sunday

Possible Canadian cases of vaping illnesses being investigated: health officer

‘I think that will be really important to address the overall trend of youth vaping’

Area 51 events mostly peaceful; thousands in Nevada desert

Three more people were arrested Friday on the remote once-secret military base

B.C. First Nation signs agreement to return its land on Vancouver Island

The land on the east coast of Vancouver Island will be returned to the We Wai Kai Nation

Most Read