Business owner Kevin Dushanek and professional dancer Amanda Fleet polish their steps for the 2014 Sheraton Celebrity Dance Off on April 4. Dushanek is one of eight dancers who has committed to raising $15

Sheraton Celebrity Dance Off sold out, pledges still welcome

Red Deer’s version of Dancing with the Stars is sold out but there are still ways to contribute to the cause.

Red Deer’s version of Dancing with the Stars is sold out but there are still ways to contribute to the cause.

Sheraton Celebrity Dance Off chairperson Christine Moore said the community can support Big Brothers Big Sisters of Red Deer and District by pledging to the dancers or purchasing raffle tickets for a $11,000 trip to Italy.

“There’s nothing better than to invest in our youth,” said Moore.

“We want people to share the magic. Whether you are there or not you can be a part of the evening to make a difference for our youth.”

The 800 tickets for the April 4th event went on sale on Jan. 27 and were scooped up within three days. One hundred fewer tickets were up for grabs this year because organizers wanted to improve the logistics of the popular event.

Eight “celebrity” dancers have committed to raising at least $15,000 in order to hit the dance floor. The dancers were paired with a professional instructor for 20 lessons to learn a dance for the competition.

Organizers hope to raise $250,000 in 2014 after raising roughly $280,000 in 2013.

Moore said while they are raising money for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Red Deer and District, another goal is to raise the mentoring organization’s profile in the community.

David Murphy, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Red Deer and District executive director, said they hope to give Camp Alexo a much-needed face-lift with the money raised. The camp, 70 km west of Rocky Mountain House, has been welcoming youth since 1984.

“The buildings are quite old,” said Murphy. “It needs some work and some renovations.”

Murphy said they feel very fortunate to be selected as the charity for this outstanding event. He said these opportunities do not come around that often.

“It’s not only about raising the funds,” said Murphy.

“We are always looking for mentors. We have about 30 or 40 kids on our waiting list. We are really hoping with the increased awareness up to the event and on the event that people will want to support Big Brothers Big Sisters not only financially but by through volunteering their time or other ways with our agency.”

Raffle tickets for a 10-day trip for two to Tuscany, Italy will go on sale within the next week.

Tickets are $100 can be purchased through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Red Deer and District. For more information on raffle tickets, volunteering and supporting the dancers, visit www.bbbsreddeer.ca or call 403-342-6500.

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com

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