With eight couples cha-chaing for charity, the 7th Annual Dancing with the Shuswap Stars (DWTSS) set a new fundraising record.
The gala exceeded all expectations, raising over $80,000 in support of the Shuswap Hospice Society in their largest fundraiser of the year. Based on the Dancing with the Stars TV show, the event includes local celebrities who volunteer to perform a ballroom dance routine, with their supporters buying star votes to help elevate them into a winning position. With online sales of those stars starting earlier in the year, dancers were already reporting impressive fundraising numbers well before the event
“Fundraising starts as soon as we announce the dance candidates in June, and they take their role very seriously,” hospice fundraising coordinator Cecilia Yap said in a statement. “Our dancers work incredibly hard to raise funds on their own, and then get their supporters out to the event for that final push to raise funds… We can not thank this year’s group of dancers enough for pushing our fundraising to new heights.”
This year’s dancers included rookies Jack and Cappi Bowers with a jive, Josephene Juell and Scott Hutchinson who performed a quickstep, Justin and Renee Brien who did a bachata and Will Fazan and Lenette Zieber with a dance medley. They were joined by All-Star dancers who were paired with professional instructors from City Dance, with Ian Gray doing the foxtrot, Bonnie Vandevosse a waltz, Natalie Parent a samba and Missy MacKintosh the paso doble.
In addition to the dancers, the record-breaking fundraising total wouldn’t have been possible without everyone else who supported the event, including volunteers, star vote buyers and all who came out to the event.
“It is truly heartwarming to see the community of the Shuswap step up to keep our programs operating,” Yap stated, with Hospice providing free care and support to the sick, dying and grieving residents in the area.
Plans are already underway for the 2024 DWTSS, which will take place at the SASCU Recreation Centre on Saturday, Nov. 16. Anyone interested in participating as a dancer or organizer can email Tracy Hughes at email@example.com.