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Dancing & Tapas returns with a fun night and thousands raised for wheelchairs

Fundraising event returns after two-year hiatus

The Rotary Dancing & Tapas fundraiser for wheelchairs to be delivered to Guatemala returned to Campbell River’s Community Centre April 30.

The 14th Dancing & Tapas event returned after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic and continued the Rotary Club’s efforts to buy wheelchairs to be delivered to developing countries, this year’s effort in aid of Guatemala.

The money goes towards purchasing not only wheelchairs, which was the event’s original intention, but now also walkers, transfer boards, crutches and other medical devices that help people with physical ailments and challenges. There will also be a local physiotherapist joining the Rotarians who accompany the medical equipment to Guatemala who will join with a physiotherapist from the U.S. and they will provide training for Guatemala hospital staff in movement and rehabilitation of patients.

In the past, different countries have been targeted for assistance like Moldovia, Romania, Ukraine and Kenya. The local efforts are partnered with Rotary Clubs from around the world as well as non-government organizations.

Over the years, the two Rotary Clubs of Campbell River have delivered 11 containers of wheelchairs to more than 3,000 people in 11 different countries. This has involved Rotarians travelling at their own expense to deliver the medical equipment purchased with funds raised at the Dancing and Tapas event.

Besides being a great cause, it’s a fun, fabulous time. Participants bid on auction items or sponsor the purchase of a wheelchair while enjoying delicious food, entertainment and dancing the night away. Some special activities this year included a paper airplane contest to win tickets to anywhere Westjet flies and there was a raffle for a Marine Link Cruise that involved a limited number of tickets with a unique draw method. Winners were all given a water bottle containing water, except one which had a mocktail, and the ticket buyer who had the mocktail won the cruise.