Stars set to shine to help little Kai

Kai Hodgkinson, of Fleetwood,  needs an operation in America to help him walk.

Kai Hodgkinson, of Fleetwood, needs an operation in America to help him walk.

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ONE of the best things about the entertainment world is that they don’t think twice about getting together and giving up their own time free of charge for a good cause.

There’s no better example of this than a music variety night taking place in Blackpool next month to raise funds for Kai Hodgkinson, a four-year-old local lad born with diaplegic spastic cerebral palsy.

Kai’s condition means he is unable to fully straighten his legs, which makes it almost impossible to walk.

His mother, Caron, has launched a campaign to raise £60,000 so her son can travel to America for pioneering treatment.

Singer Sammi Shepherd heard about the story and has leapt into action, contacting her showbiz friends and arranging a big bash at The Duple Club, on Bond Street in South Shore, on Thursday February 7.

The aim is simple - to raise as much cash as possible.

“I saw Kai’s plight on Facebook and thought I could help by arranging an entertainment night,” said Sammi. “Hopefully lots of people will turn out to support it and we can play our part in helping Kai get the treatment he needs.”

Already lined up to appear is Steven Hall, who, since making it to the finals of Britain’s Got Talent a couple of years ago with his bizarre dancing, has quit his job as a telecommunications engineer and gone into the entertainment world at the grand old age of 53.

Mike Hughes will compere the night, with Suzy Hart, Johnny Roxx, Michael Buckley, Ashli Wain and Tony Just among the acts.

There will also be ‘human auctions’ - such as Sammi herself offering to play a free gig at any location within 20 miles to the highest bidder - a raffle, music quiz and face painting.

“I want this night to be for children as well as adults,” added Sammi.

Other goodies up for grabs on the night include a family day pass to the butterfly house courtesy of Lancashire County Council; and top Elvis tribute John George, who is willing to do a free show in any club in Blackpool.

The variety night starts at 8.30pm on February 7 and goes on till half 11.

*ROBIN Duke, the man who wrote this page for 39 years before stepping down earlier in the month for a well-earned breather, was given an official send off at a bash at Ego bar in the town centre.

Many figures from the Blackpool entertainment world came out to pay tribute to his years of hard work and his frank but always honest reviews.

For those interested in Robin’s plans for the future, he is taking a little break, which he says is heaven after four decades worth of hard labour, but plans to start writing again soon. The staff at The Gazette, who turned out at Ego in force for his farewell do, wish him well for the future.