The Central Okanagan Hospice Association danced its way into the record books with more than $135,000 raised over the weekend.
Last Friday night’s Swinging with the Stars fundraiser saw local celebrities jive, cha-cha, disco, swing and tango for bereavement and palliative care with the help of professional dance instructors.
Swinging with the Stars event coordinator Jan Woolsey said the third annual event raised more money than they had projected.
“I am still in awe of our final numbers. It is just fantastic. We could not have done it without the amazing support of our local celebrities and the ballroom dance community. They raised the bar at this unique, fun-filled, high-energy event,” Woolsey said.
“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 hospice. We ask a lot of them and their results continue to amaze us.”
The winner of the best dance performance trophy went to Gordie Abougoush, owner of Boyd Auto Body and Glass.
Performing a jive to the song Greased Lightning with Dance 4 Life instructor Sharon Sebo, Abougoush received a standing ovation and garnered $5,000 worth of voting stars to take home the trophy.
Another facet of the event is a pledging program that begins two months before the actual event.
Each dancer had a campaign manager representing them.
Their role was to raise funds in their dancer’s name—all in support of hospice.
The pledging campaign raised over $50,000 in total—another record.
The most pledges raised trophy was awarded to Terri and Paul Hergott of Hergott Law. Julie Hill, Darla Brown, and Jess Harrison worked hard as Paul and Terri’s campaign team. The team raised over $22,000 in pledging—again another record.
“This was an incredible evening, supported once again by an incredible community who raised more than we have ever raised for a single event,” said Susan Steen, executive director, Central Okanagan Hospice Association.