It was a night full of glitz, glamour and sequins on Saturday, April 25, as amateur dancing hopefuls took to the floor for the Claire House Does Strictly event, helping to raise £48,000 for the children’s hospice.
Eight brave Claire House supporters from local businesses were coupled with a professional dancing partner in the hope of lifting the coveted glitterball trophy and shimmied and quick-stepped their way through months of training before the glamorous event at Liverpool’s Titanic Hotel.
Simon Brander, commercial director from Multisol UK, Chester, was crowned the winner following his epic tango with professional partner Siobhan Dunn.
Other competitors helping to raise thousands for Claire House’s vital work were Hayley Whatling, of RBS Ellesmere Port, Helen Watson, of Aaron and Partners solicitors and Jayne O’Gorman, of Azure Collection will take steps to compete with Phil McKeown, of Hillyer McKeown solicitors, Christian Lindley, of Jigsaw Law, Kevin McIntosh, of Humphreys of Chester estate agents, Mark Black, of Engageweb and Mike Caulfield, of Caulmert LTD.
More than 350 people clapped and cheered the couples on and waited eagerly as judges including Olympic gymnast and Dancing on Ice Champion, Beth Tweddle, rated each performance out of ten. The audiences’ votes were then added to come up with the final scores.
Other judges included Yvonne Dunn, of Headliners, who also choreographed of all performances and coordinated the professional dancers and fashion designer Selwyn Sylvester.
Also in attendance on the night was Elle Hennin, 13 and Courtney Pownall, 12, who both use the services of Claire House Children’s Hospice and handed out the prizes to the lucky winners.
Event organiser and Claire House corporate fundraiser Angella Rawsthorne, said; “What a fabulous night on Saturday! It really was like a taste of Hollywood had come to Liverpool and all the couples had worked so hard on their routines.
“Having Elle and Courtney there too was just wonderful. The girls really helped remind everyone why we were there and what all the hard work has been for. It was a wonderful event and I’d like to thank everyone who came or took part, for their support.”
Members of staff from Claire House Children’s Hospice also took part in a group dance routine to entertain the crowds.
Jenny Moustoukas who is a physiotherapist at the Bebington-based charity said; “Working so closely with the children, I see the difference that fundraising events like this can make to the families we support, so it’s brilliant to be a part of one.
“We’ve all be working really hard on our group number and hopefully everyone enjoyed it. What’s most important is the money that’s been raised to support families like Elle’s and Courtney’s; that’s better than any trophy!”