Image Credit: Lisa Stephenson

Image Credit: Lisa Stephenson

Dancing for Dianne

A Kelowna couple challenges themselves to a dance compeition to raise money for COHA

They’re not your typical dancers, but they’re stars in the eyes of a local charity.

The dedicated work of Lisa and Dave Stephenson will hopefully raise $25,000 for the Central Okanagan Hospice Association (COHA).

A cause near-and-dear to Lisa’s heart; she is a volunteer at COHA after her mother died in hospice care almost four years ago.

The Kelowna couple’s fundraising journey started several months ago when a friend asked Lisa if she would be interested in the event, Swinging with the Stars.

Recently retired from a career in the tourism industry, Lisa jumped at the opportunity Swing with the Stars, a fundrasing event for COHA.

“I was given the opportunity to dance with a choreographer or my husband, and be taught by a professional how to dance,” said Lisa. “So I signed up me and my husband Dave.”

A suit-and-tie professional for Sysco Foods, Dave was a little surprised that he was to swing about a room in front of strangers.

“He isn’t a dancer, but he is doing it for me,” she explained. “He has been supportive of me and my journey with my mom. I’ve been a volunteer with hospice for sometime since my mom passed and my family has been beside me the whole way. I couldn’t imagine doing this with anyone else but my husband.”

The two have been practicing with coach Tina Mandl of Oranj Fitness in Kelowna.

“This is more about a competition of pride and raising the most money for COHA,” said Lisa.

Performing as Danny and Sandy from the movie Grease, Lisa and Dave will dance to the song, ‘You’re the One that I Want’.

“We will be dancing for my mom Dianne, and also for all the loved ones our friends and family have lost.”

For those that donate to the Stephenson’s and have lost a loved one, Dave will write their name on his leather jacket that he will wear the night of the show.

“It will be quite a moment when Dave walks onto the dance floor in that jacket,” exclaimed Lisa.

Hoping for a final push to meet their goal, Lisa wants the public to understand how important COHA is to the region.

“COHA’s mission is to offer compassionate care, comfort, support and learning to those who are dying or grieving within our community,” she said. “Their vision is to create a community where no one has to die or grieve alone.”

As a volunteer, Lisa is a part of many families journey at hospice and knows what they are going through and can help navigate the difficult path of death.

Swinging with the Stars takes place March 18, at the grand Okanagan Resort, tickets are $200 each with a $75 tax receipt.

To learn more about Team Stephenson’s story and to donate click here.

For those interested in donating, your name will also be entered into a draw to win:

  • Prestige Hotels and Resorts – Two nights accommodation at one of the waterfront resorts (Sooke, Nelson, or Salmon Arm) valued at $600
  • Kelowna Actors Studio – VIP tickets for four including a show, dinner and wine, valued at $550
  • Cactus Club (Downtown Kelowna) – VIP food and beverage tasting for four, valued at $200