Heidi Klein and Taylor Belanger dance “The Argentine Tango” for the crowd at the dancing with Vernon Stars event held at the Vernon Recreation Centre on Friday Oct. 2. The couple raised the most money in support of the North Okanagan Hospice Society.

Vernon stars dance up $80,500 for Hospice

Record year as nine couple show their stuff in support of North Okanagan Hospice Society

  • Oct. 9, 2015 7:00 a.m.

Dancing with the Vernon Stars achieved a significant milestone.

A total of $80,500 was raised Oct. 2, the most ever for the event, with the funds going to the North Okanagan Hospice Society.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the results,” said Ruth Edwards, society executive director.

More than 320 people were entertained by the nine couples who took to the dance floor — Sue and Pete Solymosi, Bonnie and Ed Huber, Sally and Todd Benson, Ellie and Curt Jensen, Susan and Jeff Prince, Heidi Klein and Taylor Belanger, Charmaine Scherck and Guy Basaraba, Roxy Rollins and Joe Marcotte and Sareena Nickoli and Brian Martin.

Securing the community favourite and fan favourite awards were Klein and Belanger. They raised a record $11,500.

Second place was Scherck and Basaraba at $7,700.

“It was great fun to see the friendly, competitive camaraderie between the couples who were challenging each other to raise more votes,” said Edwards.

The winners for the judges favourite award were Sue and Pete Solymosi.

“All of the dancers excelled in their dance routines and costumes and they were enthusiastic from the very start,” said Edwards.

“We really do have more than just three winners.”

The dance portion of the event was produced by Ruth McGrath and Tracy Kaye Holly and they coached all of the couples. The judges were Galina Labun, Akbal Mund, Rob Ellis and April Lyn Kimble.

Event festivities also included a live auction conducted by Kevin Rothwell.

“Dancing with the Vernon Stars 2015 was an absolutely fabulous event. The dancers, the venue, the patrons, the energy – everything exceeded our expectations,” said Edwards.

“We elevated our fundraising goal this year to $80,000, and our sponsors, suppliers, dancers, coaches, judges and organizers exceeded all expectations. We are so thankful to all those who participated. On behalf of those we serve, we thank the community of the North Okanagan for their support of end-of-life care.”


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