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Can Stars of Orange proceed?

By Peter Holmes

Lots of smiles at the Stars of Orange Dance for Cancer. Cancer Council/Facebook.

The future of February 19’s rescheduled Stars of Orange Dance for Cancer may be in the balance, but organisers remain hopeful the massive fundraiser can proceed, even if it means adapting the way the event is held.

Last June’s Stars of Orange Dance for Cancer was put on hold due to Covid restrictions, and hundreds in the city and beyond have their hopes pinned on the bash going ahead next month.

Staff at the NSW Cancer Council in Orange have been deep in discussion over the last two days, mulling various possibilities.

Essentially, the hope is that the sold out show can proceed as normal, with 450 guests eating, singing and dancing. But there is no guarantee.

More than $135,000 has already been raised for this event.

The Orange News Examiner spoke with Ricky Puata from the Cancer Council.

The question on everyone’s lips - can the event proceed?

At this point we’re continuing as planned.

In the next couple of weeks we’ll get more of an indication from NSW Health what any restrictions might look like.

How important is this for the council?

It’s really important. It raises vital funds. It is a really difficult time for charities and fundraising in general.

But at the same time we have great stars in dance schools and they’re huge supporters, and we really want to make sure we host an event the community can get behind.

Who makes the final call on whether you go ahead?

The decision is with the management team at the Cancer Council. But we work with Orange City Council.

The state government implemented new rules last Saturday regarding singing and dancing in hospitality venues, entertainment facilities and major recreation facilities. How will this affect you?

It’s really tricky. This is one of the things we’ve been working on with Orange City Council. There has been [a ruling on] no singing and dancing, but it depends on how we are defined.

That’s not a decision we make, it’s more at a venue level.

At this point in time we’re trying to explore [options].

Do you think people are willing to adapt - no singing, no dancing, maybe smaller capacity - if it means the event can go ahead?

I think there's a willingness among the people who come to Stars Of Orange to work with us as an organisation. Adapt is a great word. They appreciate that at the moment things are difficult.

Are you getting many calls?

We’ve had more recently about what our intentions are, and whether any tickets have become available.

For the most part the team only returned to work this week, so we’ve been hurriedly working the last two days looking at what we can do, how we can make things work.

Have you considered splitting the event across two sittings to reduce the crowd density?

There are a lot of options on the table.

We’ve done two or three nights elsewhere in the region, but we have a pretty successful formula here, it does well.

Although the event is sold out, a small number of tickets may become available. What’s the best way for people to keep an eye out for them?

There may be people who can’t make it, or have a preference not to attend. The best way is to look at our website page and our Facebook page.

Stars of Orange Dance for Cancer is on Saturday, February 19 at Orange Function Centre, Eyles St, Orange.

General Entry Open: 5.45pm.

General Admission: $110.

VIP Admission: $145.

Dress Code: Formal.


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