Ballroom glitz at Freshwater helps raise cash for Weldmar

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: CHAMPS: Lloyd Richards of Weymouth and Kate Pelaou of Lyme Regis CHAMPS: Lloyd Richards of Weymouth and Kate Pelaou of Lyme Regis

IT WAS strictly for charity – and Weldmar Hospicecare crowned its Strictly Ballroom champions at the live finale event held at Freshwater Beach Holiday Park in Burton Bradstock.

After the votes had been counted the winning couple were announced as Kate Pelaou from Lyme Regis and Lloyd Richards of Weymouth.

An audience of more than 400 supporters attended the sell-out event and were treated to dances from the eight couples, who had been training weekly with the Eileen Spracklen School of Dance since the start of September.

As well as the eight finalists’ dances, the audience was treated to a number of dances from two professional ballroom couples.

Judges for the night were Jo Thompson of Dorchester Wellness Centre, Stephen Baynard, a Weldmar Trustee, Hollyoaks star Tamaryn Payne and Drew Baker, entertainment manager at Freshwater Beach Holiday Park.

Drew, who is the Dame in the Freshwater Panto ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ also entertained the packed room by singing ‘This is the Moment’. Audience members voted for their favourite couple on the night, with votes costing £1. All of the money raised from the evening and from the fundraising activities of the couples, was in aid of Weldmar Hospicecare – and is expected to be more than £10,000.

Matt Smith, Weldmar’s events fundraiser, and the evening’s compere, said “It was a fantastic evening. Hundreds of supporters turned out to support their favourite couple. The atmosphere was just incredible and helped make the evening one to remember.

“I would like to thank Eileen Spracklen and Gemma Fulbrook for their continued support over the past 12 weeks. Without them, the event would not have happened.

“I am also grateful to our judging panel. They got into character and added a fantastic element to the evening. But of course, I would like to thank and congratulate the dancers. At the start of the competition, none of them could dance, and within 12 weeks with the help of Eileen and Gemma, they managed to perform fantastic routines in front of an audience of 400.”

  • Weldmar and Freshwater Beach will join forces once again for a new talent competition – Dorset’s Got Talent.

Auditions will be held in the New Year along with semi-finals, with the grand final at Freshwater on Saturday, March 15.

The winner will receive £500 sponsored by the Hive Beach Café and one week’s holiday at Freshwater Beach Holiday Park.

More information on weld-hospice.org.uk/talent Freshwater’s panto, Jack and the Beanstalk, which opens tonight, December 5, will also be supporting Weldmar Hospicecare by holding a collection and raffle at each performance.

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