The 2017 Forbes Can Assist Dancing Stars has raised an incredible estimated $61,000.
Thanks to the generosity of many, those funds will be available through Can Assist to help locals going through cancer treatment.
Twenty brave locals put their hands up to perform in front of a crowd of more than 400 at Forbes Services Memorial Club on Saturday night.
After three months of rehearsals under the tuition of local choreographers, they took to the dance floor.
There were two prizes awarded on the night, but it was agreed the community was the real winner.
Mystery couple number 9 – Pat Rudd and Amy Townsend – were awarded the disco ball trophy after receiving perfect 10s from celebrity judges Tim Mackay, Taylah Hemming, John Schrader and Laurel Hull.
The people’s choice, based on who collects the most funds for charity in their bucket at the end of the night, went to Shayne Staines and Giselle Taunton. More than $10,000 was collected as supporters cast their votes.
Choreographers Kristen Woods, Rachel Wythes, Emily Allegri, Kate Ralph, Jacinta Welsh and Georgia Woods guided the dancers through their preparations and all the couples paid tribute to them.
From tap dancing to jive, country to waltz, they helped our celebrities learn a raft of new skills to provide an incredible night of entertainment.
The audience was treated to a display of the choreographers’ skill when they took the floor to open the night with a flash mob.
Kristen Woods, Rachel Wythes, Emily Allegri and Kate Ralph – burst onto the dance floor then pulled Tim Mackay, John Schrader, Brian King and Scott Burton out for a whirl as well.
Vocal trio Leonie Burton, Emily Pavey and Jo Mattiske took the stage to sing Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.
The night’s organiser Terese Gunn received a standing ovation when she took the stage to thank the many people who had helped make the night happen or donated towards the cause.
“I am overwhelmed with gratitude and respect,” she said.
Terese, along with Cassandra Tyack, started the Forbes Can Assist Dancing Stars three years ago.
It’s an enormous effort, but one she is motivated to continue – especially after tickets this year sold out in a record 50 minutes.
“I think of how our dancers throw themselves into this dance thing,” she said.
“I think of how our support team say yes. I think of Can Assist.
“I think about the families who are suffering and those – sadly – who will suffer in future.”
Long-time Can Assist volunteer and treasurer Maureen Field described the night as “mind-boggling”.
Can Assist currently supports about 70 Forbes cancer patients. Last year they provided more than $88,000 in assistance.
“You can imagine how much we appreciate what Therese, Cassandra and the team have done and the fantastic community who have given so much,” Mrs Field said.
While there’s a few sneak previews of the videos on our website, you can order official videos of the event produced by Graham Ragg through the Advocate office during business hours.