IT’S official – Port Macquarie businesswoman Skye Petho can dance.
With teacher Jo Rowan and a dazzling performance before a 300-strong crowd, the pair won the 2017 Stars of the Hastings Dance for Cancer event at Rydges on Friday, November 24.
And there’s no denying it was nothing less than a celebration of life and love with Skye overcoming her own battle with the disease – her journey the inspiration behind the successful cancer charity campaign If We All Had Wings.
In December 2015, Skye found a lump in her left breast.
By January 2016, she had embarked on the long and often challenging road of cancer treatment.
“My life changed in a way I never thought it would and for months I was unable to do the things I had always taken for granted, like being fit and healthy, supporting myself, and having energy for my boys,” Skye said when she took up the dance challenge.
“If we can find a cure, support those who are already on the journey and help those recovering then it’s worth all the effort and nerves to be part of this event.”
Collectively, the dance stars’ efforts were underpinned by fundraising with the Hastings community chipping in to raise a whopping $88,430 for the NSW Cancer Council.
Over the last few months there have been a few things that I have achieved that have made me reflect on the fact that 18 months ago I couldn’t have done them because my body was so damaged from treatment and to think I was able to get up there, dance my arse off and win is incredible.Skye Petho, 2017 winner
“What an amazing feeling to win. It has been a challenging few months with lots of hard work, sore knees and loads of laughs,” Skye added.
“Jo was the best teacher I could have asked for and made the whole process fun and as easy as possible.
“I said yes to dance because I understand personally how difficult cancer can be on you physically, mentally, emotionally and financially. It’s a crappy disease and I would like to think one day no-one will have to go through what I did when I had cancer.
“Over the last few months there have been a few things that I have achieved that have made me reflect on the fact that 18 months ago I couldn’t have done them because my body was so damaged from treatment and to think I was able to get up there, dance my arse off and win is incredible.
“Every person involved has worked so hard to make this a successful event and I’m so proud to have been involved and have these people in my life. Our community is so generous.”
Skye Petho and Jo Rowan’s winning dance routine:
Nine stars – Zoe Bevez, Dayne Maloney, George Miedecke, Alistair Flower, Skye Petho, Jack Rutledge, Kerrie Winn, Karl McLean and Evelina Kemp – trained for more than four months with judges Helen Richey, dance celebrity; Gavin Rippon, 2016 winner and Port News’ Vickii Byram impressed by the calibre of local talent.
“The Hastings community has shown an incredible level of support for those affected by cancer, by getting behind this event and raising an impressive amount of money to further the vital work of Cancer Council NSW,” Ms Richey said.
“Skye and all the contestants have clearly worked really hard during many weeks of rehearsals to put on a great show,” she said.
“Not only that, they have shown so much dedication to raising funds to help others, and I think that is really the highlight of this wonderful event.”
Local publican Alistair Flower shimmied his way into second place while also taking out the highest fundraising award with $30,000 in the kitty and the People’s Choice title.
Mid North Coast radio announcer Jack Rutledge shook a tail feather to place third.
Alistair Flower with Mandy Davidson placed second:
“The level of support from businesses and individuals in the local community has been overwhelming. We’d like to thank everyone who supported the event – those who donated; the contestants and the dance teachers who guided them; and everyone who worked so hard behind the scene to make this event happen,” event organiser Louise Beaumont said.
“The funds raised will help further the NSW Cancer Council’s life-saving research, and support services delivered right here in the Hastings to help our community members who are affected by this disease.”
Jack Rutledge with Ashlee Mangold and Shenae Johnson placed third:
All money raised from the event is supports the NSW Cancer Council’s research, education and support programs.
Now in its fifth year, the Stars of the Hastings Dance for Cancer event has raised more than $300,000 to help provide the Transport to Treatment service for cancer patients, support Rotary Lodge, provide legal and financial assistance as well as boost Cancer Council initiatives from the Eat It To Beat It nutrition campaign to the Improve Your Long Game sun awareness education program.
Cancer Council community liaison officer for the Mid North Coast Katie Mead said the organisation prides itself on having a local presence and making a real difference to regional communities.
To make a donation to the NSW Cancer Council, CLICK HERE.