Step up to the beat

Step up to the beat

24-hour Danceathon for the benefit of K9 Friends was a tremendous success over the weekend. The cause which City Times has taken to heart started at midday on Friday and finished up at 12pm yesterday. Bands, DJs and displays entertained a constant number of people coming through the doors throughout the day and night.

By David Light

Published: Sun 24 Aug 2008, 11:41 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 2:51 PM

Natalie and Geordie Bird of Dubai 92All ages boogied the night away, sponsored for each hour. They danced with all proceeds from sponsorship, the raffle and items bought at the event including Fatboy beanbags going straight to K9.

Set in the opulent Grand Hyatt ballroom, Phil and Sarita Barnett and Saritafs sister Janice Shaw, the eventfs organisers, pulled in over 45 sponsors from around the city to lend prizes and support this worthy cause. Phil, Sarita and Janice decided, when Phil adopted a dog from K9, that something had to be done in order to raise money for the charity.

Being animal lovers themselves and having seven dogs and thirty birds between them they immediately knew this was a cause they all felt strongly about. Since the year 2000 K9 has re-housed over 2000 dogs and neutered just as many.

However, relying on a completely volunteer workforce and being in a kennels close to the city centre costs are high so this event was planned in order to help out which in turn will help stray and abandoned dogs all over the region.

Despite the high financial toll K9 does a brilliant job, so much so that recently they have been granted land by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and new premises are set to be built.

Money from this event will go to the upkeep of the dogs but also towards the construction of this facility. The dog Phil and Sarita adopted was the now famous Ringo, a little blind puppy who if it hadnft been for the kindness of the Barnetts would mostly likely have been put down if unclaimed for a certain amount of time.

With the new facility and increased donations through events like this there will hopefully be a time where that is no longer an option.

Aside from the dancing there was a karaoke room, a chillout area with food and beverage facilities and a splendid raffle at the end of the event with winners walking away with some fantastic prizes including a weekend stay at the Jebel Ali resort and a nightfs stay at the Premier Inn. During the course of the 24 hours some highlights included an impressive demonstration by the Dubai Karate Centre, performances by City Timesf favourites

Point of View and Moonshine and DJ Savio who kept all the acts seamlessly threaded together. All in all a lot of money was raised for the deserved charity. City Times spoke with Janice and Sarita on the home straight two hours from the end.

After 22 hours of solid dancing they were understandably tired but looked in good spirits after what they had accomplished. gIt has been really busy throughout,h Sarita told us.

gUp until a peak at about 4am when obviously some people had to go home. Wefve not stopped though and so have many others. All the bands and acts have been fantastic and they were all very well received. We were running a little behind schedule but did not hear a complaint from any of them and they all got on really well.h

gWe would love to do something like this again. Wefve had wonderful sponsors and the volunteers have been amazing. Like us they havenft slept because they did not want to miss a beat.h Janice added, gSome of the highlights were Glenn Perry and the Speed Clean Team who danced for 12 hours, but all of them have been great and we owe them all a big thank you.

Everyone has been really flexible and made tonight a success. Next time we are thinking of putting on a rock festival. It probably wonft be for 24 hours but all the bands got on so well that they seemed very keen.h

Sarita told us that she had witnessed a lot of large personal donations of Dh1000 plus, but could not estimate an overall total raised. gI would really like to thank the Grand Hyatt and my husband for getting the venue. Without it we would not have been able to even think of this,h said Sarita.

The variety of music from country to house provided something for everyone. Only a few were eventually able to make it the full 24 hours but everyone who attended got something out of the dance. gItfs been a great gig,h said Natalie and Geordie Bird troopers of Dubai 92 fm who gave up their time to MC the show. gWefve had a lot of fun but are quite tired now.h

Jackie Ratcliff of K9 Friends stated, gItfs amazing what theyfve done. We canft believe it is all in benefit of us, the event has been fantastic. We can use this money to help build the new shelter on the land generously donated to us by Shaikh Mohammed. We have many events throughout the year but this is a new one. I hope we can have many more like it.h

With the attention this danceathon has received expect to see many more similar events in the future. K9 is one of the few animal charities operated in Dubai and for a nation concerned with the welfare of all creatures they need all the help possible.

A new facility is a great step forward but it is only the start. With everyonefs help they can move onwards and upwards in a bid to keep dogs like Ringo off the streets and place them in new loving homes. As for Ringo herself, she can go on and enjoy life with the Barnetts and her six new brothers and sisters. ¡

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