Forbes Dancing with the Stars Couple no 6, Susan Earl and Hare Laveka, may have been crowned the inaugural winners of the trophy on Saturday night but the real winner on the night was CanAssist.
Eight months ago two local women, Terese Gunn and Cassandra Tyack, decided to organise a fundraiser to benefit CanAssist after seeing firsthand the assistance they provide to local cancer patients. Dancing With The Stars Forbes was the chosen theme and the pair were hopeful that they could raise at least $10,000.00. Months of careful planning and coordination saw their dream a reality on Saturday night with nine dance couples, four prominent judges, two entertaining comperes and 353 community members attending and supporting the spectacular event.
Once again, the Forbes community has risen to the challenge and exceeded all fundraising expectations. The ladies were overwhelmed by the generosity of local businesses and the community and became quite emotional when they had well and truly exceeded their original goal.
Even though the final total has not been released it is anticipated that it will be more than $30,000. The dance routines performed on the night were of a very high standard and judges had a difficult task to come up with the overall winner with just one point separating 1st and 3rd positions. After their performances, dancers had five minutes to collect as much money as possible with the couple collecting the most money taking
out the people’s choice award.
Crowd favourites Stavros (Brian King) and Mareka (Michele Quigley) took out this coveted title with a routine that had everyone crying with laughter. CanAssist, formally known as The Cancer Patient Assistance Fund, was established in 1955 in response to concerns about country cancer patients accessing treatment in Sydney and the lack of suitably priced accommodation. Forbes began the first country branch in NSW in 1956 and provided assistance in a number of ways including transport, home visits, housework and much more. The Country branches grew and became more organised and there are currently fifty two branches in NSW.
Forbes CanAssist does not receive any government assistance and relies on fundraising and community support to provide $60,000.00 in support to local cancer patients each year. The funds raised from this event is invaluable to this organisation and will benefit many Forbes cancer patients and their families.