Fourteen talented dancers shimmied and sashayed their way to success at a sell-out Strictly Come Dancing-style charity event at Nortel Social Club recently.
The glitzy fundraiser was organised by local woman Elaine McKee in memory of her uncle, Ballyduff man Joe Watson, who died within two weeks of being diagnosed with liver cancer, caused by Hepatitis C.
Each of the novice dancers were put through their paces by a professional dance partner to make sure they didn’t put a foot wrong on the big night.
And after an evening of fabulous foxtrots and wonderful waltzes, the judges couldn’t separate the top two couples - Stephen McCann and Sonja Devlin, and Daniel Megarry and Rebecca Galea. The final vote went to audience reaction, with Daniel and Rebecca just getting the nod as the night’s top performers.
Elaine, from Rathcoole, organised the Strictly-style fundraiser to increase awareness about the dangers of Hepatitis C. And she was delighted that the event raised thousands of pounds for the Royal Victoria Hospital’s Liver Support Group.
“Through the Strictly night, coffee mornings, jumble sales and wrist band sales, we’ve raised £7,619, but there is still money coming in,” the 39-year-old explained.
“The night was a great success, so on behalf of myself and my family I would just like to thank all the dancers, the make-up artist, Full Length and Fabulous for donating amazing dresses, Look Crafty for the amazing room makeover, and Nortel Social Club for all their kindness.”
Highlighting the dangers of Hepatitis C, she added: “He (Joe) told me it was nothing serious, all that was required was a tablet and a special diet for six to eight months. Little did he or the family know that the following week he’d be admitted to hospital and be dead in ten days. The effect on the family has been horrific.
“I would urge people to read up on Hepatitis C and if they feel they may be at risk to get a blood test. Lives can be saved if it is detected soon enough.”
Anyone who would like to support Elaine in her fundraising effort can still do so by making a donation online at www.justgiving.com/elainemckee