Local celebrities dance for a cause

Dancing With The Vernon Stars sells out in record time

The Vernon Lodge is a buzz of activity as patrons draped in ceremonial garb await the night’s festivities.

As the lights dim, the crowd goes wild as Vernon celebrities lace up their dancing shoes and make their way to the front of the room for the 10th annual Dancing With The Vernon Stars in support of North Okanagan Hospice Society Sept. 29.

“We’ve had such great success building this event over the last 10 years,” said Ruth Edwards, NOHS executive director, adding that tickets sold out in record time. “It’s an absolute success story.”

Dancing With The Vernon Stars is a major fundraiser for the society, with each of this year’s 20 contestants being asked to raise $5,000 for hospice prior to the event.

“This is the one really big event that hospice puts on, and we’re so pleased with the community. We’re well on our way,” Edwards said, adding that they have already raised more than half of their $150,000 target.

“They’ve just done such an exceptional job this year in the ways they’ve gone to raise money.”

Dancers have put on a range of NOHS fundraising events for Dancing With The Vernon Stars, ranging from pancake breakfasts to car rallies.

A musical surprise kicks off the evening Sept. 29, followed by a three-course meal, a live and silent auction, and finally, the pièce de résistance, the dancing competition.

“It’s a really full evening, but there’s lots to keep people entertained,” Edwards said.

“If last year’s event is anything to go by, it will be a really magical evening.”

This year’s star-studded lineup includes 10 dance couples:

Noir Salon hairstylist Brittney Fisher and plumber/pipe fitter Joel Schenk, photographer Camillia Courts and Lake City Casinos general manager Ryan Doherty, Armstrong Elementary principal Denise Brown and vocal instructor/performer Paul Moore, Intermezzo Restaurant and Wine Cellar owners Ellie and Glenn Yawney;

Venture Training LTCA/nail tech Kimber and Mark Macaulay of the RCMP, Interior Health’s Lindsay Forlund and Jes Hatt of Hatt Fitness, Nixon Wenger LLP paralegal Mindy and Okanagan Spirits distiller Chris Burke, Shell Duggan of Nucerity International and Tom Christensen of Nixon Wenger LLP;

Steffie and Norm Brenner of The Brenner Group of Realtors and Toby Risk of East Side Liquor Company with Rick Reichelt of Prestige Hotel and Vernon Lodge Food and Beverages.

Judging the dance competition this year is head judge Brian Martin of Sun FM. He will be alongside Diversity Dance’s Lisa Schofield and Paul Cousins of Okanagan Dance Party, Okanagan Casino Parties and 34th Street Coffee House.

Doors to the 10th annual Dancing With The Vernon Stars open at 5 p.m., with dinner at 6 p.m.

Donate to NOHS and vote for your favourite dance couple online at www.dwtvs.kintera.org.