Kicking up their heels helped the North Okanagan Hospice Society (NOHS).
The society and Lake City Casinos Vernon hosted the 12th Annual Dancing with the Vernon Stars at the Prestige Vernon Lodge and Conference Centre, bringing in $178,244, which will go directly to support hospice programs and services.
“Due to the tremendous support received from our sponsors, the dancers and the North Okanagan community, we are delighted with the results of the event,” said Ruth Edward, NOHS ex. The proceeds from Dancing with the Vernon Stars are a large component of the $600,000 that Hospice is required to fundraise annually,” said Ruth Edwards, NOHS executive director.
“We are grateful that Lake City Casinos joined us as our title sponsor once again. They continue to be a strong supporter of hospice and we thank them for being such an important part of our biggest community fundraiser of the year.”
The dancers worked hard from April to September to raise funds for the society in addition to working with professional instructors from local dance studios to prepare for their performances.
This year’s coaches included Heather Stranks and Jens Goerner of City Dance, Tracy Kaye Holly of TKH Dance Company and Olivia Grayce of SODANCE.
A sold-out crowd of 418 people attended the event which included dinner, a silent and live auction, performances by eight teams, the coaches and even a surprise routine from judges Sarah Podollan, Sean Ling-Allen and Charlene O’Brien. The remainder of the evening was a dance for all the guests featuring DJ, Jeff Haymaker.
The eight dance teams who took part in the 2019 event included:
• Dr. Aisha Manji and Dr. Nicholas Half: Family physician, obstetrician and gynecologist;
• Carolyn and Heath Fletcher: The Hot Bread Shoppe and Sproing Creative;
• Lauren and Mitchal Derksen: Vernon Community Music School and NUMU Consulting;
• Mary-Ann Reid and Victor Cumming: Interior Health Authority and the Mayor of Vernon;
• Michele Hill and Paul Sterritt: Hill Environmental Ltd. and Bigfoot Industries;
• Michelle and Rob Cesario: Allegria Homes Inc.;
• Richard Chippendale and Dave MacDonald: Iron Heart Gym and Tolko Industries;
• Tamara and Clay Kayle: Little Miracles Preschool and CK10 Landscaping.
Following the dance performances, three awards were presented:
• Community Favourite Award (sponsored by The Health Nest) which went to Richard Chippendale and Dave MacDonald for raising the most funds at a total of $16,375 before
• Fan Favourite Award (sponsored by Dignity Memorial and the Vernon Pleasant Valley Funeral Home) was presented to Dr. Aisha Manji and Dr. Nicholas Half who received the most votes purchased during the evening;
• Judges’ Favourite Award (sponsored by Lake City Casinos) was awarded to Manji and Half for their performance of the Cha Cha Cha.
Professional photos by Sproing Creative and live videos of the dance performances can be viewed on the Dancing with the Vernon Stars Facebook page.
“A special thank you to our event manager, Gina Watson, and to our dancers, sponsors, coaches, judges, 40-plus volunteers, silent auction organizers, donors and patrons for helping us raise funds for Hospice,” said Leslie Harvey, NOHS financial officer. “The dedication and commitment to our organization is greatly appreciated and significantly contributes to the continuation of providing quality end-of-life care in the North Okanagan.”
For more information about Dancing with the Vernon Stars, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.