Event raised $70K for Easter Seals Society
Julianne Foisy and her dance teacher, Dennis Harasymchuk, danced their way to the top on Feb. 28 as one of six pairs vying for bragging rights in the 2014 Dancing with Easter Seals Stars.
The sold-out event featured the dancing talents of Foisy, Johanne Nagel, Alain Lessard, Dr. Sandra Fortier, Todd Hilton and Remi Foisy. Coaches this year were Harasymchuk, Bob Leduc, Lucie Lacroix, Charles Larose, Zoi Monroy and Toni Calabrese.
Each pair danced two dances, with the top three making it to the finals. When all was said and done, it was Julianne Foisy and Harasymchuk who claimed the title of this year’s dancing stars.
“We had more fun and challenge than I ever expected”, said Harasymchuk. “But nowhere near the challenges that kids with physical disabilities face on a daily basis. Julianne and I share this year's trophy with them, as they are the real stars”.
First runner up Rémi Foisy from Vale and his dance coach Toni Calabrese, who were a close second and sizzled during their performances. They were also named Peoples Choice Award winners, as they received the most online votes prior to the competition.
And, while they it was the dancers who were in the spotlight throughout the evening, it was Easter Seals Sudbury that took the top prize – the all-important fundraising dollar that will help buy wheelchairs, walkers and communications devices for youth, as well as to send them to a fully-accessible summer camp.
This year's event raised $70,000, exceeding last year’s total of $58,000.
A panel of judges was tasked with helping to select the best dancers. Judges this year were Greater Sudbury Mayor Marianne Matichuk, NorthernLife.ca managing editor Mark Gentili, and radio hosts Audra Denny and Stef Paquette.
Easter Seals helps kids with a variety of disabilities and medical conditions including cerebral palsy, spina bifida and muscular dystrophy, among others. By providing financial assistance, Easter Seals is an essential service as some families might not otherwise have the resources to obtain necessary equipment for their child.
For example, of the families who requested financial assistance from Easter Seals and self-reported their annual income in 2013, 65 per cent reported a total family income under $60,000. Furthermore, 46 per cent of families had a total annual household income under $40,000. Twenty-five per cent had a total family income under $20,000.