Rocking to a fundraising beat

LAUREN HAYES
Last updated 05:00 30/06/2014
erin criglington
REBEKAH LAY
WINNING ROCKERS: World Masters cycling gold medallist Erin Criglington and dance partner Joe Robins celebrate after winning Rocking with the Stars.

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Famous Southlanders have swapped their day jobs for dancing shoes to raise money for their community.

Ten well-known southerners donned their best 1950s attire on Saturday night for Rocking with the Stars, a fundraiser for Hospice Southland.

The stars paired up with accomplished dancers to perform at the rock and roll competition, held at the ILT Stadium Southland on Saturday night.

Event organiser Karl Herman said the stadium was "completely chocker", with more than 1000 people turning out to support the cause.

Early estimates suggested this year's event had raised between $30,000 and $40,000 for Hospice Southland, he said. The last event, held in 2011, raised $22,000.

The stars who "put their dignity aside" to dance in front of the crowd, with only weeks of practise, were all spectacular, Herman said.

"The judges spoke to me later and said it was very, very tight. It was down to half points."

World Masters cycling gold medallist Erin Criglington, who was named winner with dance partner Joe Robins, was a natural, he said.

Southland entertainer of the year Shannon Cooper Garland nabbed second place, while Southland district mayor Gary Tong and former Southland rugby player Jeremy Winders were awarded third equal.

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- The Southland Times

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