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Strictly fundraiser back by popular demand

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By Fiona Reid
Strictly fundraiser back by popular demand

BACK by popular demand — the ‘Strictly’ charity fundraiser is gearing up for a return next year. Michael Pattie says that the event in 2014 had been planned as the last, but that huge demand for the popular charity fixture has forced its return.

Explaining the situation, he said: “We tried to stop it at the top and leave it after ten years.
“We managed to get a year out, and then the public wouldn’t let us stop — so we’re back again for February next year.”
Sunday marked the first rehearsal for next year’s event, bringing together nine dancing couples and five group acts.
Michael said: “We’ve done group acts before and dancing couples before, so seeing as we’re making our comeback, half the show is groups and the other half is made up of ten dancing couples.
“It’s everything this year.”
About 120 people are taking part, including this year’s Guid Nychburris cornet Ross Hyslop, representatives of NHS Dumfries and Galloway, Dumfries High School, Fairy Bod Fitness Academy and Queen of the South.
Each of the groups is representing a charity, and the pot of money generated by the two-night event will be divided between six charities — Meningitis Research Foundation, Cash For Kids, Cystic Fibrosis, Breast Cancer Care, The People’s Project and Women’s Aid.
It was the loss of his son Dave to meningitis at the age of just 13 that sparked Michael’s fundraising efforts.
Over the last 17 years he has generated hundreds of thousands of pounds — taking on the role of the Meningitis Research Foundation’s first Scottish ambassador.
And in addition to launching the Strictly shows in 2006, Michael got the chance last year to take part in the Comic Relief version of BBC One’s hit TV show Strictly Come Dancing. Next year’s Strictly takes place at the Easterbrook Hall in Dumfries on February 19 and 20.
Tickets were released at Easterbook Hall on Saturday.