Partygoers boogie down to help hospice

By Kaysha Brownlie

1 comment
BOOGIE NIGHTS: Shaun and Kim Lines, of Napier, dance the night away at the Cranford Hospice fundraiser. PHOTO/Warren Buckland
BOOGIE NIGHTS: Shaun and Kim Lines, of Napier, dance the night away at the Cranford Hospice fundraiser. PHOTO/Warren Buckland

Out came the bell-bottoms, big hair and psychedelic patterns as people boogied Saturday night away in the name of charity.

About 80 people donned 1970s and 80s-style clothing for Cranford Hospice's Let's Dance event at the Hawke's Bay Opera House, Hastings.

Cranford event campaign manager Nathalie van Dort said 90 per cent of the event-goers embraced the period fashion.

She wore a corduroy costume - a fabric that was huge during that era.

"It went really well. Lots of people were dancing all night long," Ms van Dort said.

Tickets for the event were $50 and, while she was unsure exactly how much money had been raised, she was pleased to say artwork donated by the Longley family had gone for $750 in a silent auction. The next day, a cheque came in for $1000.

The unique artwork was created by Havelock North's Rua Longley, who had been a patient at Cranford Hospice before she died eight years ago.

She produced the artwork, called Let's Dance, more than 30 years ago and recently her grandson Terry Longley discovered it tucked away.

Mrs Longley painted it during the 1980s and it depicts silhouettes of people dancing.

The original artwork was simply felt pen on paper, but Mr Longley had it reprinted on to a large canvas and gave it to his grandfather as a gift.

When his grandfather spotted the Cranford Hospice event in the paper, he decided to donate the artwork for auction.

Mr Longley said he was pleased the artwork went for such a good price.

Calling in for a jive, he said the music was good: "I had a bit of a fling, I danced with the Pink Ladies.

"It reminded me of the old times. My late wife would've been thrilled because she loved dancing."

With its strong links to the hospital, the artwork made the event that much more special, said Cranford chief executive Janice Byford-Jones.

The event was a way for people to connect with the hospice.

"We want to break down the barriers and make it not scary to talk about."

Local businesses had rallied to help make the event happen and Hastings District Council offered the venue for free.

Money raised will go toward the care of 600 patients each year, with $2 million needed each year.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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