Rachel Davies preparing to hold fundraising event in Soldiers Point for Stars of Newcastle campaign

ENTHUSIASTIC: Rachel Davies, from Anna Bay, will hold her first fundraising event since the postponement of Stars of Newcastle in March. Funds raised go to Cancer Council NSW. Picture: Supplied

ENTHUSIASTIC: Rachel Davies, from Anna Bay, will hold her first fundraising event since the postponement of Stars of Newcastle in March. Funds raised go to Cancer Council NSW. Picture: Supplied

Stars of Newcastle has been given a new date following its postponement in 2020 and the Port's participant, Rachel Davies, has been throwing herself into preparing for the event that raises funds for the Cancer Council NSW.

Ms Davies, from Anna Bay, will host a Zumba fundraising event in Soldiers Point next month and is selling tickets in a raffle boasting a major prize of a $5000 travel voucher as part of her Stars of Newcastle campaign which was due to wrap up in June 2020 before being postponed due to COVID-19.

"Since the postponement announcement, and with the restrictions that COVID brought on, it was extremely difficult to organise fundraising events," Ms Davies said.

"We had a Zumba event planned, but had to cancel due to the establishment closing down temporarily and since everything was so up in the air, we didn't know what we could plan and for when. We also couldn't have rehearsals.

"It has only been really recently since we got the okay with the new show date, Saturday, March 20, that we have been able to plan. I have been having my dance lessons since late January and we have about five weeks to go."

Money raised by each of the Stars of Newcastle participants is donated to Cancer Council NSW, which is used to fund services such as transporting patients to treatments, over the phone support and information, the Sunsmart Program and research.

Money is also raised during the gala night, which sees each star and their partner, professional dancers from the Hunter region, perform a routine in a selected style on stage in front of guests.

Ms Davies, a singer and actor who works as a student welfare officer at Alesco Senior College in Nelson Bay, has been given the dance style of Broadway musical.

It was a fortunate pick for Ms Davies who, in non-pandemic times, performs in two or three Newcastle musicals or theatre performances per year.

"I think in a weird way, it was actually a blessing having COVID happen when it did. I had three shows lined up, and worked full time and thought I could add a [university] thesis on top of that," Ms Davies said.

"I think COVID offered a great reminder to slow down and not over commit.

"This year, I am still working full time at Alesco Senior College and looking forward to being in shows again. Luckily, all three shows, Stars, the Laramie Project and Priscilla, have all been confirmed to happen again this year, so that's very exciting."

Ms Davies is now seeking participants for her COVID-Safe Sunday Funday Charity Zumba event to be held at Soldiers Point Bowling Club from 10.30am on March 7.

Guest instructors will lead the 1.5 hour long event which is suitable for participants of all ages and fitness levels.

Bookings are essential and can be made by buying a ticket, $15 each, by phoning 0418 821 164. Spots are limited.

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