Holly and Andrew Stein are one of the couples dancing in this year’s Dancing with the Vernon Stars in September. (Brieanna Charlebois/Morning Star)

Holly and Andrew Stein are one of the couples dancing in this year’s Dancing with the Vernon Stars in September. (Brieanna Charlebois/Morning Star)

Dancing with the Vernon Stars returns Friday

Ten couples are competing on Sept. 21 to raise funds and awareness for NOHS

Dancing for a cause, the 11th annual Dancing with the Vernon Stars returns to the Vernon Lodge next Friday.

Doors open at 5 p.m., show starts at 8 p.m. The event includes dinner, the judged show. Later, the dance floor opens up and DJ Haymaker will take the stage.

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Married couple Holly and Andy Stein formed a new partnership for this year’s competition. Now dancing partners, they will be performing an original hip-hop routine. Each couple picks their own genre and is assigned a coach to help them choreograph. New to hip-hop, they have been training since March.

“After watching last year, we knew there were all sorts of dances to choose from but we landed on hip-hop because it’s a bit goofier and fun and sort of matches our personality,” said Holly. “It has been pretty challenging though. I grew up dancing ballet but that doesn’t really translate to hip-hop and he’s just a natural.”

Dancing With The Vernon Stars is a major fundraiser for the North Okanagan Hospice Society. Each of this year’s contestants has been asked to raise $5,000 for the charity prior to the event, with an overall goal of $150,000.

In tandem with competitors Lukas Erickson and Austin Lane Ridley, the Stein’s hosted the FestiKal fundraiser at Okanagan college last month. The event raised a total of about $20,000 for NOHS.

“We decided to take part this year and it has been a lot of work but a lot of fun,” said Andrew. “But it’s all worth it because we know that all the hard work we’re doing is going to a great cause,” said Andrew.

“Fundraising continues to be an integral part of the NOHS funding model. We are grateful to the residents of the North Okanagan for their generosity,” said Hospice Financial Officer Leslie Harvey. “With tremendous community support, commitment and enthusiasm, events like Dancing with the Vernon Stars continue to be successful.”

Dancing an adapted country two-step, Sarah Moorhouse and Darcy Helmle are another couple competing next Friday. They’ve been preparing for about seven months, hosted a wine tour and a pub night to raise funds and awareness for Hospice. As of Thursday, the couple raised $17,000. Donations continue to be accepted until next week.

“North Okanagan Hospice is really great at attending our events and they’re so grateful and thankful,” said Helmle.

“Darcy grew up here and has tons of business contacts and I do lots in the community so we figured we could probably raise the money pretty easily,” said Moorhouse. “Bottom line, it was just something we could do to get more involved in the community.”

The competition has three components: judge’s choice, audience’s choice and an award for whoever raised the most money. It also includes dinner and a live and silent auction.

In total, there are ten couples taking to the dance floor. Other dancers competing in next week’s Dancing with the Vernon Stars include Beatrice Weir and David Scarlatescu, Lukas Erickson and Austin Ridley, Brittany Wright and Nick Jacob, Terri and Joe Deuling, Kristi Bieber and Aaron Nasipayko, Susie and Brent Helland, Fiona and Kira Hook, and Jaye Coward and Sean Allen-Ling.

Tickets and donations can be purchased at http://nohs.ca/events/dancing-with-the-vernon-stars-2018. For any last minute silent auction donations, contact Gina Watson at vernonstars@gmail.com

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Dancing an adapted country two-step, Sarah Moorhouse and Darcy Helmle are another couple competing next Friday. (Photo contributed)

Dancing an adapted country two-step, Sarah Moorhouse and Darcy Helmle are another couple competing next Friday. (Photo contributed)