Ice stars make hot night for charity

Pictured front, from left, are special guests Stuart Widdal, Katie Stainsby and Dan Whiston. Standing, with some of the showgirls, are from left, Robert Erskine (treasurer), Julie Erskine (chair), Liz Cockshott (child welfare officer), Denese Welch (secretary) and David Walsingham (Hot Ice and show choreographer).
Pictured front, from left, are special guests Stuart Widdal, Katie Stainsby and Dan Whiston. Standing, with some of the showgirls, are from left, Robert Erskine (treasurer), Julie Erskine (chair), Liz Cockshott (child welfare officer), Denese Welch (secretary) and David Walsingham (Hot Ice and show choreographer).
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THE stars of TV’s Dancing on Ice attended a glamorous charity ball to give their backing to a major fundraising drive.

Blackpool-born skaters Dan Whiston, Katie Stainsby and Stuart Widdal attended the Blackpool Ice Drome Charities Association (BIDCA) ball at Blackpool’s Hilton Hotel.

Now in its 60th year, BIDCA have raised £30,000 in 2011 for Brian House Children’s Hospice in Bispham and the Second Skin Fund – a charity that makes lycra suits to support children with cerebral palsy.

All three of the professional skaters began their careers with BIDCA by performing in the annual Christmas show at the Pleasure Beach Ice Arena.

Dan said: “We are raising a lot of money for the chosen charities and this ball also makes people more aware of what we do.

“We are behind anything that helps to make money for these charities and they are very important events.

“As well as making a lot of money for charity, the show helped us to make something of ourselves.”

A pair of Torvill and Dean’s ice skates were brought to the event by Dan who auctioned them off alongside other signed items.

Katie, who partnered rapper Vanilla Ice during this year’s Dancing on Ice show, said: “Events like this are massively important for Blackpool at the moment because, in my opinion, all the talent and charities in Blackpool are not supported enough.

“There should be more opportunities for children to go and skate every day if that’s what they want.”

Her former dance partner Stuart, who now performs on cruise ships, said: “It’s nice to get home and see the work being done in Blackpool.

“This is a fantastic event and it’s fantastic we can come here and give something back.”

Denese Welch, secretary of BIDCA, says she hopes the total amount of money raised will increase year on year.

She said: “This is a very special night.

“It’s about getting the message out there about what can be done to help the community.”

Meanwhile, both Dan and Katie are looking forward to this year’s Dancing on Ice competition.

Katie said: “I don’t know if any other celebrity could match up to Vanilla Ice so who knows what the future holds.”

Dan added: “I have auditioned 30 celebrities for the new series and will hopefully get a great partner.”