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Northern Stars Dance To Victory For Cancer
Cancer Council NSW is synonymous with the fight against disease but were you aware that ninety-six per cent of its funding comes from the community? Think Daffodil Day, Pink Ribbon Day, Australia's Biggest Morning Tea and now, Stars of The North and Stars of the Beaches. It makes you realise that annual events are fundamental to the Cancer Council's capacity for action.
To put this into perspective, the pre-event fundraising drive raised $75,000 and the event itself drew a further $63,000 from the crowd in attendance and friends and family voting for the stars from home. The moneys raised directly from vote donations, raffles and auctions during the evening, will fund a lab researcher at $250 per day for 252 days. An uplifting thought.
Stars of the North is based on the Dancing with the Stars concept but relies on the participation of everyday community and business heroes learning to dance, rather than high-profile celebrities. This year, twelve pillars from Northern Sydney business, government, arts, hospitality and finance sectors, gave freely of their time for cancer fundraising. They learned a routine from a nominated dance genre, choreographed by their professional dance partners. (Full list of contestants below).
Stars of the North Judges - Gail Giles-Gidney, Joanne Middonte and Deni Hines (photo by Ramsey Noshie c/o- Cancer Council NSW)
I enjoyed the evening immensely and want to congratulate all the stars for their bravery, commitment and performances. The 'Stars' were inspired either by a personal diagnosis of cancer, or a close encounter with the disease through loved ones. Their video diaries shared inspirational stories.
Audience and Judge's Choice Luke Simmons and Cassandra Merwood (photo by Ramsey Noshie c/o- Cancer Council NSW)
Special mention goes to the winners of the three competition categories on the evening:
Judges' Choice and People's Choice Awards to Luke Simmons, CEO of NORTHS Group.
Highest Fundraiser Award to Jono Herrman, Chairman, North Sydney Innovation Network.
Jono raised a phenomenal $34,700 from sponsorship and individual donations, over three months.
And although equal in score to Rachel Chappell, dancing a sexy foxtrot and Matthew Cross, boogieing to Saturday Night Fever, Luke Simmons and partner Cassandra Merwood won over the judges, with a cheesy yet brilliantly executed hip hop routine.
Highest fundraiser Jono Herrman and partner Natalie Brown (photo by Ramsey Noshie c/o- Cancer Council NSW)
The success of local events like Stars of the North, staged under the Cancer Council banner, rely on grassroots support from the community. Taking part in them as a volunteer organiser or fundraiser, is incredibly rewarding, as is making a donation.
And why not get involved with upcoming initiatives? Notable dates in Cancer Council NSW's Events Calendar are City2Surf on 13 August (support Team Cancer Council) and Daffodil Day on 25 August.
What could be more rewarding than giving your time or money for a charity that touches so many lives?
Stars of the North 2017 Contestants
Jemima North, Founder, Pilatestry Studios
Rachel Chappell, Founder and Publisher, North Shore Mums
Justin Dethbridge, Founder and MD, Bligh Capital Partners
Rebecca Parish, Journalist, North Shore Times
Luke Simmons, CEO, NORTHS Group
Jono Slingo, Owner, Incinerator Café
Felicity Wilson, North Shore MP
Penny Pedersen, Arts Program Presenter, Northside Radio
Ken Goth, Chatswood Musical Society
Jono Herrman, Chairman, North Sydney Innovation Network
Matthew Cross, Govt. Relations, The Property Council of Aust
Maggie Minassian, Director, Hartex Engineering