Ten dance couples and their dance instructors/coaches put in 15 weeks of hard work to pull off a one-night dancing extravaganza to raise money for Rotorua Community Hospice. And now this year's Harcourts Dancing for Hospice tally is in. Reporter Shauni James finds out how much was raised and how this will help the hospice. Drum roll please...
The blood, sweat and tears of 20 amateur dancers was well worth it; the total raised from Harcourts Dancing for Hospice 2019 was $150,000.
This year's fundraising event was held last weekend, and attracted its first sold-out crowd.
Rotorua Hospice fundraising and marketing manager Nicola Smallwood said last year the event raised $140,000 and in 2017 it was about the $150,000 mark too, but this year's total was the most they had raised from the event.
"A big thank you to everyone involved for helping us beat the target – from sponsors, to dancers and the guests who come every year to support, we are so grateful.
"We are celebrating with all of you."
Rotorua Community Hospice chief executive Jonathon Hagger said the support shown for the Rotorua community was immensely uplifting for the entire team.
"Everyone at hospice is over the moon about the result. All the team at hospice have been walking around with a spring in their step since learning we had raised $150,000.
"Hitting our fundraising target is only possible due to the generosity of individuals and businesses in the community."
He said the money raised would go towards the hospice's operating expenses, such as buying a new van that health care assistants use to deliver hospital beds to patients' homes, along with wheelchairs, special mattresses, and other nursing equipment.
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"We are investing into expanding the range of family services we provide including bereavement and spiritual support.
"All the monies raised will be used to provide direct services in to the Rotorua community."
Nicola Smallwood said it was likely the event would go ahead next year.
"The money raised makes such a big impact for Rotorua Community Hospice. It has become a real community event and we're so grateful that everyone continues to support us each year.
"We've already had loads of people nominating themselves or mates to be dancers as well.
"It's always the men who are a little trickier to pin down, so if you know someone in your life who doesn't dance and think they would support hospice, then let us know."
Ten dance couples spent 15 weeks training and practising to put on the dancing extravaganza for one night.
Of the 10 performances, Kristina Crouch and Kereti Rautangata's fast-paced Spanish paso doble won the disco ball trophy.
Polly Delfim and Rawiri Bhana won the People's Choice Award and were the runners up, having danced a second time along with Crouch and Rautangata to determine a winner.
This year the judging panel included Colin Mathura-Jeffree, Kristie Williams, Michelle Langstone and Turanga Merito.