A CHERISHED charity has proved the real winner in a glamour-filled competition complete with sparkling sequins and super steps.
The Mary Ann Evans Hospice `Strictly Learn to Dance' competition has raised a staggering £17,000 to help continue the care of people living with life threatening illnesses.
Twelve couples battled it out in front of a sell out crowd on the stage at the Civic Hall in Bedworth for the chance to win the coveted Glitterball Trophy.
Teachers Zoe Waknell, Lucy Hunter and Pat and Ted Thompson from the Nuneaton Dancentre in Attleborough taught the novice dancers over 12 weeks to dance the Social Quickstep and the Jive.
`Bruce and Tess' , aka local businessman Roy Hawkins and Jacqueline Leake, fundraiser at the Mary Ann Evans Hospice, compered the show and the judges were professional dancer, teacher and judge Julie Earnshaw, the multi-talented Joel Hicks and well known local author Rosie Goodwin.
The audience were also treated to performances by the class of Strictly 11, who reformed for one night only and performed a group dance, along with Diva, a Latin group from the Dancentre.
There were also solo performances showing how the dances `should' be done by dancers Lucy Atkinson and Rob Scott.
The judge's winners on the night were Simone Goddard and Rob Scott, with the audience votes for Jenny Flavell and Andrew Dodson the winners of the Glitterball Trophy.
Both couples were matched together at the initial meeting and proved to be a match made for the dance floor.
Jacqueline Leake said though that the real winner was the hospice and those it cares for.
"What an amazing night we had," she said.
"I am so proud of everyone who took part in whatever way to make Strictly Learn to Dance such a success. The real winner is the hospice with a fantastic £17,000 raised for local hospice care.
"I can’t thank everyone enough who supported the dancers and together raised such a significant amount for our patients."
Anyone interested in taking part in Strictly 2013 is invited to contact Jacqueline Leake by calling 024 7686 5439.
Next up on the fundraising calendar for the hospice is a five kilometre long `Drag Race’.
Men are invited to don women’s clothes and take part in the fun event to be held on Saturday.
The race is to start and finish at Nuneaton Town Football Club from 12noon.
Participants are asked to register from 11am onwards.
The clubhouse will be open from 10am for breakfast and to allow entrants to get dressed and apply their make up.
It costs £10 to enter in advance of the event or £15 on the day.
The price includes free entry to this weekend’s match day fixture which sees the `Boro’ take on Colwyn Bay.
There will also be a free after match party with live entertainment and buffet.
Entry forms are available by calling the above number or calling in at the hospice, any of its charity shops in Nuneaton, Bedworth or Atherstone or at Nuneaton Town Football Club itself.