In front of a sold-out Trafalgar Centre, eight local personalities swapped out their regular attire for sparkles and shimmers to Dance for a Cause on Saturday night, raising more than $90,000 for Nelson Tasman Hospice.
Ros Pochin, Paul Hampton, Pic Picot, Rachel Boyack, Matt Lawrey, Richard Carruthers, Rachel Reese and Matt Bouterey, all paired up with trained dancers to impress the crowd of more than 1200 people.
Local GP Sally Thomas was the brains behind the evening, coming up with the idea and then developing it, doing the ground work and bringing key people together to get it off the ground.
Hospice fundraising and marketing member Joanna Davis says the night was a great community event that saw everyone out and having a good time.
“We are so wrapped with how the night went. Everyone’s been so generous with their time and their donations. It was a really well supported event and we are just so thankful to everyone.”
Joanna said the support came at such an important time, with the new hospice facility currently being constructed in Stoke, at a cost of $11.5 million.
They still need around $1.8 million to complete the build.
Winner of the competition, Nelson surgeon Ros Pochin, says that it was petrifying being out in front of the crowd, but thought she was in with a good chance at taking the top spot.
“When we had to stand there for 10 minutes and talk to the judges afterwards, you just wanted to bolt off stage, I was shaking for about five minutes after.
“There was a lot of comradery between the contestants, everyone was supporting each other because you know you’re all there to support such a great cause.”
She also says choreographer Emma Silke-French was the star of the night.
The event raised around $40,000 on the night which will be added to the give-a-little totals that the contestants have raised. Estimates are that just over $100,000 has been raised, but not all of that will go to Hospice.
Inspiring Youth Theatre Charitable Trust (IYTCT), which funds Nelson Youth Theatre, helped put the show together and assisted on the night. They will take 10 per cent of profits for their work.
Secretary of the trust and Dancing for a Cause contestant, Richard Carruthers, says lots of people donated things for the night
“Everyone said ‘oh, that’s for Hospice, you can have it for free’ or ‘we’ll help out’.”
It was originally suggested that the night be a fundraiser for IYTCT but it was decided that they didn’t have the pulling power to get the fundraising support.
“We approached Hospice and said ‘look we’ll give you 90 per cent of the proceeds and we’ll take ten’. They were happy with that,” says Richard.