Limestone Coast ‘stars’ swing into action for a good cause

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By Kate Foreman

Eight of the Limestone Coast’s best movers will be waltzing their way around the dance floor when the 10th anniversary Swinging with the Stars event lights up the region on June 24th.

One of the Stand Like Stone Foundation’s major fundraisers, last year’s event raised $100k for local charities and organisations.

“Swinging with the Stars is a phenomenal success for Stand Like Stone, it is our major annual event and brings so much than just fundraising to the local community,” says Stand Like Stone Foundation Executive Officer Georgie McKay.

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Each year the event goes from strength to strength, with tickets selling out this year within three days.

Since inception, Swinging with the Stars has raised $350k for the foundation with all those fundraising efforts going back into the region through grants, scholarships and more.

“We source our community ‘stars’ from our broad geographic region and they are partnered with a professional to learn several dance styles,” says Georgie.

“In the lead-up to the event the Stars put in a lot of time and effort as well as creating awareness of Stand Like Stone and raising funds for the community.

“It culminates with a live performance in front of a 500-plus strong crowd at The Barn Palais in Mount Gambier and the Star who raises the most funds wins the Swinging with the Stars People’s Choice Award.”

Stand Like Stone was established in 2004 after a group of visionary locals initiated a community foundation which would benefit the Limestone Coast area, encompassing the seven district councils.

“Stand Like Stone is an independent philanthropic organisation that is part of a network of Community Foundations across Australia,” says Georgie. “We work closely with the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR), Australian Community Philanthropy and Philanthropy Australia.

“The foundation collects donations, which are pooled to form a capital base which is invested and kept in perpetuity, the income earned from this investment is used to fund educational scholarships, community and charitable projects, and anything else which is of benefit to the community.”

With a corpus of $3.44 million and benefits totaling over $999k being put back into the community over the last 12 years, it speaks volumes for the Foundation’s ability to build and maintain great community relationships.

“Our vision is ‘investing in our community for lasting impact’ and we certainly do this through many of our events but Swinging with the Stars unquestionably has a lasting impact on all those involved,” says Georgie.

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