Dancing with Celebrities duo Brenda Gorlick and Gail Asper showed the incredible magic best female friends can create at the Society for Manitobans with Disabilities (SMD) gala Saturday night at The Fairmont. They took first place for their 1920s flapper number, and beat out some amazing male-female couples in romantic dance clothing.
"Oh, you want a BFF picture?" said choreographer Gorlick, cheek-to-cheek with Asper, after the judges' critique. They were flying!
Speedskater Susan Auch, Hot 103 morning co-host Chrissy Troy, former NHLer Ted Irvine, retired weather announcer Sylvia Kuzyk and retired Blue Bomber Kelly Butler plus their dance teachers also competed in front of the judges (Bomber coach Paul LaPolice, dance school owner Margaret Motyka and Hot 103 morning man Ace Burpee). Free Press humour columnist/judge Doug Speirs was so dazzled by the twirling ladies in sparkly costumes, he confessed he mostly forgot to judge the male partners. Oh, Dougie!
The most beautiful dancers at the event were the folks from SMD, many in wheelchairs, who did a joyful choreographed dance to Lady Gaga's Born This Way. One participant piped up after the dance, "If anybody got this on video, please put it on YouTube, because we'd love to be on the Ellen DeGeneres show."
Spotted: Former Shaw TV personality Joanne Kelly, now a Red River College journalism teacher, philanthropist couples John and Bonnie Buhler and Garry and Gwen Steiman, Deputy Mayor Justin Swandel, Bison Transport's Duncan Jessiman and Gauthier Automotive Group's Randy Gauthier.
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DINNER IN THE SKY: Rod Cyr, owner of Rodren Drilling, sat ringside at Dancing with Celebrities with his heart doing a little jig of its own. He shelled out $2,500 for the live auction's Dinner In the Sky -- a gourmet dining experience 150 feet in the air. His party of six will join another 16 diners on a platform with a convertible-style roof for rain, to be raised by a crane above The Forks. Then the diners are served an eight-course dinner by three chefs, including Chef Rob Thomas.
"How many times in Winnipeg would you get to do that, and it's all for a good cause!" Cyr said.
Want to try it? The public can purchase a ticket for $275 -- with multiple dinner possibilities from June 25 to July 1. The event is being produced in Winnipeg by entrepreneur Doug Panchuk (801-0161) of Sherwood Forest Tree Service. The website is www.dinnerinthesky.ca .
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A GOLD-PLATED EVENING: The charming John Furlong earned a heartfelt standing ovation after sharing with 818 people at the CancerCare gala the Herculean struggle to put on the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Vancouver.
"It was like God said, 'Anybody can put on Winter Olympics with snow. Let's take a shot with NO SNOW!' " he boomed from the Winnipeg Convention Centre podium.
His message? Like the Olympic event struggle, we have to fight cancer with the belief we can win and go to the far ends of our creativity to find the way.
Co-chair Doug Harvey of Maxim Truck & Trailer affectionately referred to CancerCare head honcho Dr. Dhali Dhaliwal by his first name, prompting a few "Well, hello Dolly!" greetings from the crowd as he hit the stage.
Spotted: CancerCare chair Janice Filmon and her husband, former Manitoba premier Gary Filmon, jewelry store family Ernie, Ruth and Jonathan Epp of Independent Jewellers, marketing guru Kathy Schwartz, Mona Lisa's Joe Grande, Margaret Redmond of the Assiniboine Park Conservancy, horticultural therapist Hennie Corrin, Riverview Health Centre Foundation's Renee Billauer and charming meteorologist John Sauder, Master of Ceremonies for the night.
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QUEEN THANKS JIM KALE: The Guess Who bassist Jim Kale says he's "overwhelmed" after learning he will receive the Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal May 24 at the Samuel Cohen Building.
"They're awarding medals to people who apparently have contributed to this country," he says, clearly amazed. "My name was put forward. It's pleasant and gratifying to hear about this."
Kale acquired the rights to The Guess Who name back in 1978 and it's been a sore point with former frontman Burton Cummings since, says Kale. Still, Kale has occasionally toured with the original group, notably the 1983 Reunion Tour in Canada with Cummings, Randy Bachman and Garry Peterson.
The Guess Who presently consists of Kale, drummer Garry Peterson, keyboardist Leonard Shaw, guitarist Laurie Mackenzie and singer Derek Sharp. They're playing summer dates from Colorado to Massachusetts starting in early June, with a few stops in Ontario and B.C.
Got tips, events, sightings, unusual things going on? Call Maureen's tip line at 474-1116, email Maureen.Scurfield@winnipegfreepress.com or mail The Insider c/o Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Wpg. R2X 3B6