Slaney Search and Rescue fundraiser is strictly brilliant!
Battle lines were firmly drawn on the dancefloor at The Riverside Park Hotel recently as a total of ten couples squared off in a bid to be crowned winners of Strictly Come Dancing The Pub Edition. Each of the ten couples represented a local pub with The Riverside, Treacy's Hotel, Dawson's, Donohoe's, Toss Kavanagh's, Holohan's, The Bailey, Bellefield GAA Complex and Rackard's all hoping for glory.
The event took place over two weeks with the full ten doing battle at the first heat, before this was narrowed down for the grand final, which saw the participants being thrown a curve ball by having to learn a new dance in just one week.
A huge amount of work went into the fundraiser for Slaney Search and Rescue, with each of the couples undertaking their own fundraising drives and hosting their own events in the build-up. As well as this, they were dedicating three nights a week to rehearsals and boy did it pay off as they captured the imaginations of the judges - Paddy Reville, Velma Baikiene and Bridie O'Connor - and the public with some twinkle-toed displays.
'It went really, really well,' said organiser Alan O'Brien. 'We had crowds of around 300 people in on both nights. The standard of dancing was very good and everyone really enjoyed it. We'll now be presenting the Harry O'Connor perpetual trophy to the winners and we'll look to do it all again next October. We decided that October will be better, because this year we had a lot of people who would've loved to take part, but they were on holidays or one thing or another.'
After some impressive dance routines, the judges eventually decided on Patrick Leacy and Mary Murphy from Treacy's Hotel as the winners and there were great celebrations from all their supporters there on the night. While money is still coming in, Alan says that the event has already raised in excess of €8,000 which will come as a massive boost to Slaney Search & Rescue.
'I think it costs them around €10,000 to run the organisation for the year,' said Alan. 'Thankfully we'll be able to make a big dent in that with the money that was raised.'