The Central Okanagan Hospice Association (COHA) Swinging with the Stars event raised nearly a quarter of a million dollars. Since the event’s inception seven years ago, a million dollars has been garnered for the organization through this signature event.

Presented by Bayshore Home Health, Jane Hoffman Realty Coldwell Banker Horizon Realty and Global Okanagan, the event saw local ‘dancing stars’ jive, tango, disco, Bollywood and country dance – even a contemporary love story was performed. All funds raised support COHA’s programs to provide care, comfort and compassion to those living with a terminal illness.

Event coordinator Jan Woolsey said the event was a huge success thanks to the amazing participants and the great variety of dances performed.

This year, the ‘most pledges raised’ trophy was awarded to Carey Small and his campaign team of Shelley Small and Lorraine Miller. Team Small raised over $34,000. In total, the six teams raised over $116,000.

In addition, Jane Hoffman donated a week long stay in Maui at the Kaanapali Ocean Villas for a live auction event. The prize was worth over $6500 and garnered $8,000 for COHA.

The winner of the ‘audience choice trophy’ was presented to Team Bollywood. The high energy Bollywood dance was a first for the event and performed by an ensemble cast consisting of Anita Clegg, Brenda Valnicek, Laurie Koss, Louise Koch, Lorraine Penfound, Rose Sexsmith, and Jan Woolsey. The ensemble was coached by Chisa Glendenning of the Canadian School of Ballet. The ‘judges choice’ trophy was awarded to Val Cocar and Kurt Werner of Kelowna Dance and Performing Arts. Val and Kurt performed a high caliber technical jive that was technically challenging and wowed the audience.

The event is based on the popular TV show, Dancing with the Stars. Other community dancing stars who performed this year included; Bill Mulgrew, Gillianne Richards, Quinn Best, Melissa Schmidt and Lonnie Van Diest.

The Central Okanagan Hospice Association is a community-based non-profit organization that provides services and supports, through trained volunteers, to individuals living with or dying from advanced illnesses and their loved ones. All funds raised will support the palliative and bereavement Hospice programs.

Read more in Kelowna’s Capital News