Dancing with the Vernon Stars brought out 10 celebrity couples and an audience of more than 500 for a sparkling fundraiser for the North Okanagan Hospice Society Friday at the Vernon Recreation Centre.
“It was really fun. It was standing room only. More than $18,000 was raised,” said Lorna Robb, of Cheek to Cheek Dance Studio, co-sponsor of the event with Dean Cebuliak of Digital Dean Photography.
Judges Ed Stranks, Celeste Sali and Tom Selzler, with guest judge Darby Mills, offered their dance tips and compliments to the contestants. The dances were on the theme Tribute to Broadway.
Klaus Tribes, who won the Pro-Am Couple trophy and the Community Favourite trophy (based on online and audience votes) with partner Heather Stranks, was thrilled with the whole event.
“I’m surprised. The others looked pretty good to me,” said the owner of KT’s Restaurant.
“When you are dancing, you don’t know how well you are doing because you can’t see yourself but when we were dancing, I felt that everything went right.”
Tribes and Stranks did a Viennese waltz inspired by The Chimney Sweep’s Dream in Mary Poppins.
“I worked hard but it was fun. Heather was very patient in teaching me and it was all worth it. This is a wonderful fundraiser and I am going to be back with it next year helping in some way,” he said.
David and Carol MacBain of the Salvation Army won Top Amateur Couple, while the other contestants dazzled with everything from the tango to foxtrot to paso doble. Charlie Veaudry of Century 21 took it all off by shaving his facial hair just before the show and wearing a black wig for his Grease-inspired west-coast swing number with instructor Ruth McGrath.
“Sheila Odney from the North Okanagan Hospice Society looked like Audrey Hepburn in a vision of blue and sparkles as she danced a waltz with instructor Jaeden Jensen,” said Robb.
The professional floor show showcased the talent of instructors from Kelowna and Vernon.
The party continued after the competition results were announced with dancing for the audience, food by Crush Bistro and drinks served by Kelowna Infinity Nissan sales staff.
Digital Dean Photography and Cheek to Cheek Dance Studio are taking nominations now for celebrity dancers, individuals and couples, for the fifth annual Dancing with the Vernon Stars to take place Sept. 28, 2012. Send nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.