POPPYSCOTLAND’S COME DANCING EVENT RAISES £21,000

5th March 2020 Fiona Campbell

More than 300 people were at the Drumossie Hotel on Saturday to watch a host of dancers – novices and dancers from Toe 2 Toe Dance – battle it out at this year’s Come Dancing with Poppyscotland in association with Toe 2 Toe Dance event.

This was the third staging of the popular fundraiser and the Armed Forces charity has today announced that it raised more than £21,000 which will go directly to helping veterans and their families in the North of Scotland and across the country.

Eight couples competed for the prestigious ‘Glitter Ball’ prize and, after a tense ‘dance-off’ the winners were crowned – Neil MacKenzie and Sam Brock.

Frances Beveridge, who is Poppyscotland’s Regional Fundraiser for the North of Scotland and the event organiser, said: “Over the past six months our dancers have been working so hard in perfecting two dances and raising money for Poppyscotland. Saturday’s show just highlights how much commitment they have all put into this. I could not be more proud of them all.

“I would like to say thank you to all the businesses and the public that have supported us because without you this would not have been possible. Congratulations to Sam Brock and Toe 2 Toe Dancer Neil MacKenzie for winning our Glitter Ball, and to Lauren Bell for being our Top Fundraiser.

“At this stage we are still counting the money, but indications show that we have raised more than £21,000, which means the event, to date, has raised more than £70,000 for Poppyscotland. All this money boosts our vital, ongoing work to support Scotland’s Armed Forces community, and to show that we are behind them, always.”

Event winner Sam Brock. Sam said: “I am so proud to have taken part in this amazing event. My father served in the Queen’s Own Highlanders so I have always had the upmost respect and admiration for the work Poppyscotland does for our Armed Forces community. This is my way of helping them raise vital funds that are needed in order for Poppyscotland to continue the great work they do. I am just delighted to be a part of this event and I’m astounded that I somehow won on the night!”

And fellow winner Neil added: “Amazing, fabulous – what a great event! We had a brilliant teacher from Toe 2 Toe Dance, and it was so much fun, so many laughs and lifelong friendships made. I stepped in last year as a non-dancer with only six weeks until the event and my passion for dance has continued since then. I am so happy I am back this year as a Toe 2 Toe dancer.

“Sam has shown so much enthusiasm towards her dancing and also her fundraising, and I have supported her every step of the way. Poppyscotland relies on year-round fundraising and this event shows that fundraising is fun. I am so proud to have been a part of this for a second year and to have come away as the part of the winning team is just unbelievable.”

The top non-dancing fundraiser was Lauren Bell, who raised an incredible £1,734. Lauren is a former cadet from Invergordon who raised her total via raffles and local business gifts. She said: “Poppyscotland is an amazing charity and I feel so grateful I could raise so much for them. I have really enjoyed the experience and if anyone out there is looking for a fun way to fundraise for Poppyscotland I would strongly suggest you apply for 2021.

“Poppyscotland has a Welfare Centre in Inverness which helps serving personnel, veterans and their families. It is so great to have this on our doorstep and I am sure it will be here for many years to come.”

Major-General Euan Loudon CBE said: “Ordinary folk doing extraordinary things on the dance floor for a brilliant cause. Lest we forget.”

Annette Macdonald, Business Manager at Donnie Gunn Funeral Directors (Part of Dignity Funerals Ltd) – one of the event sponsors – said: “Poppyscotland is the most worthy of causes and allowing us to share in the fun, the emotion and the passion for fundraising means the world to us all. We can not thank the organisers enough for putting on a fantastic event, but the biggest thanks go to the wonderful dancers, both semi-professional and total novice, for giving their time and energy into making the night a success.”

Poppyscotland provides life-changing support to the Armed Forces community. Money raised from the Scottish Poppy Appeal and Poppyscotland’s year-round fundraising enables them to deliver support to members of the Armed Forces community in Scotland by providing tailored funding and assistance. The charity also funds services in advice, employment, housing, mental health, mobility and respite. The precise total raised at the Come Dancing with Toe 2 Toe Dance event was £21,902.82.