Prancing with the Stars 2023 was a fun-filled showcase of talent, dedication and compassion raising more than $155,000 to support animals in need at the Oakville & Milton Humane Society. This year's event, presented by Royal Canin, featured four community dancers, Barbara Ann Chidiac, John Garofano, Annette Gilgan and Linda Surgenor who all delivered spectacular performances with their professional dance partners.
The performance by John Garofano and his professional partner, Ilinca Oprescu captured the hearts of judges and audience, winning the coveted crystal star trophy for best in dance show. The pair danced to the iconic song Don't Stop Believin' by Journey, a song that holds special meaning for John, who had planned to participate in Prancing with the Stars in 2019 before being diagnosed with cancer.
“It was such an incredible thrill not only to participate in a well-produced event but to take home the trophy for best in dance show after four years of sitting on the sidelines battling cancer, from which I have finally recovered,” said John Garofano.
John also received the award for top fundraiser, bringing in more than $25,000 for the shelter, crediting his wife, family, friends, colleagues and his pro dance partner, Ilinca, for their support over several months of dance lessons and fundraising.
The success of Prancing with the Stars would not have been possible without the dedicated volunteer organizing committee, generous sponsors Royal Canin, P3 Veterinary Partners, Ren’s Pets, Stoner & Co Family Law, Starshot, auction donors, event night volunteers and everyone who purchased a ticket or supported a dancer.
“Prancing with the Stars is a sophisticated production that takes detailed planning and expertise to bring it to life. We couldn't have done it without our volunteer organizing committee—Cari MacLean, Catherine Wilson, Karen Moniz of Come Dancing!!, our producer/director Harbinder Singh and our master of ceremonies Sean Furfaro,” said Somer Deschambault-Page, manager, community initiatives, Oakville & Milton Humane Society.
“Thanks to the compassion and generosity of all involved, Prancing with the Stars was an unforgettable evening filled with hope, joy and the shared goal of building a better future for animals in need,” said Jeff Vallentin, executive director, Oakville & Milton Humane Society.
Funds raised during this event will help support animals in our community, providing them with necessary care, shelter and the opportunity to find loving forever homes.
“In the end, though, given how much money was raised overall, I think the animals were the real winners!” said John.