Martinis, suits and sparkly gowns filled the Swinomish Casino and Lodge on Saturday as Fidalgo DanceWorks hosted its James Bond-themed fundraising gala.
The gala had a record turnout and a record amount of donations, Development Director Melissa Turnage said.
The gala saw more than 260 guests and raised more than $73,000 to help DanceWorks continue to provide dance programming for all ages in Anacortes, Turnage said.
Those numbers beat the previous record set in early 2020 (just before the COVID-19 pandemic started) with 221 bidders and roughly $60,000 brought in.
"People are so generous," Turnage said.
Of that, $14,050 will go directly into scholarships to help students who with financial needs to take dance.
Feedback was indicating that people also had fun this year, Turnage said.
The gala, with its Casino Royale theme, moved back to the casino this year, she said. Previously, galas had been held at the Port of Anacortes and at Wisteria Gardens.
One big section of the event was a dance competition featuring community groups.
The Rotary Club of Anacortes, Soroptimist International of Anacortes and Peoples Bank each worked for six weeks to learn a dance choreographed by Fidalgo DanceWorks students and then performed it at the event. That group that brought in the most donations won the competition and are invited back next year to defend their title.
This year, that winner was the Rotary Club, which brought in $4,375 in donations from attendees. Their group was choreographed by students Amy Hanson and Olivia Turnage and featured a police versus robbers scene.
The Soroptimist Club danced to a "Guys and Dolls" Broadway-themed number choreographed by students Alaina Fowler and Anna Ricketts. The Peoples Bank danced to a jazzy swing number choreographed by students Grace Johnston and Aubrey Rittel.
"All three groups were amazing to work with," Turnage said. "They all worked super hard and were really invested."
Many people have already expressed interest in creating teams next year, she said.
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