PEI

P.E.I.'s Dancing With the Stars fundraiser reaches new heights

A new strategy brought in a record amount of funds for the fifth annual Hospice P.E.I. Dancing With the Stars Saturday evening.

Teams 'took the fundraising aspect of this event to a whole new level!'

Stephanie Knickle and pro Robert van Waarden were honoured with the Judge's Choice Award at this year's event. (Submitted by Hospice P.E.I./Monkey Business Photography)

A new strategy brought in a record amount of funds Saturday evening for the fifth annual Hospice P.E.I. Dancing With the Stars event.

Eight local celebrities were paired with dance professionals for the competition which this year raised more than $143,000 — a great deal more than last year's $25,000. Besides ticket sales, this year the event also encouraged the stars to solicit and earn donations.

'So thrilled'

"We were so thrilled to have such an amazing group of stars this year. Not only did they commit a lot of their personal time to learn the dance choreographed by their pro, they also took the fundraising aspect of this event to a whole new level!" said Alana Sprague, Executive Director of Hospice P.E.I.

Stars held bake sales, yard sales, online auctions, raffles, solicited funds from family, friends and colleagues and more.

Star Jamie Hill, a successful P.E.I. entrepreneur, and his pro Amy Kern Day raised the most money — more than $37,000.00 — taking home the trophy for People's Choice Award. 

Fitness instructor Stephanie Knickle and her pro Robert van Waarden were honoured with the Judge's Choice Award. 

'I danced for them'

"Two very special people in my life passed away very quickly from cancer, Darryl and Ben," shared Charlottetown dentist Dr. Joanne Stewart. 

"I danced for them and while honouring their memory I was able to give back to an incredible volunteer organization, Hospice P.E.I. Thank you for the opportunity!" said Stewart. 

This YouTube video shows police Inspector Rick Blouin and dance pro Tricia Boland compete in this year's fundraiser.

This year's stars also included Jamie Hill, Dr. Ray Wenn, RCMP Sgt. Leanne Butler, Lisa Chandler and Charles Keliher. The pros donating their time were Susan & Rejean Lessard, Tricia Boland, Gordon Matthews, Amy Kern Day, Robert van Waarden and Julie Higdon-MacIsaac. 

Hospice P.E.I. is a volunteer-driven organization that helps Islanders by preparing, supporting, and caring for those affected by a life-limiting illness before and after death. 

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