Robyn Upton is dancing her way to the top of the Ballarat Foundation's fundraising leaderboard and the Civic Hall stage, as one of ten-local identities participating in Dancing With Our Stars.
The Alfredton Rotary member started dancing lessons and fundraising in late March as part of the Ballarat Foundation's take on popular reality television show Dancing With The Stars.
She hit the top of the fundraising leaderboard this week with a $2500 fundraising total, bypassing previous leader and tech guru George Fong.
If everyone gets on board we can raise a lot of money to help the disadvantaged.Margo Pettit, Ballarat Foundation
Ms Upton's supporters are standing strong behind her, and she is mobilising community to participate in fundraising to help the Ballarat Foundation work to break the cycle of disadvantage in the region.
"It is tremendous to see so many people get behind the cause," she said.
Ms Upton had scheduled a fundraising walk from Brown Hill to Gong Gong Reservoir on Wednesday, with a stop for morning tea and coffee at the half way point, but has rescheduled it to May 29 because of rain.
She said the support for her fundraising efforts had been heartwarming.
"A lot of people volunteered to bake. One friend of mine woke up at 5.30am and baked 40 scones. When I rang her at 7am and said 'I am so sorry we have to cancel'. Straight away she said she would do it again for the event on the 29th of May," she said.
It is an example of the tremendous generosity that will help Ms Upton reach her $10,000 fundraising goal and the Ballarat Foundation's total goal of $100,000.
Ballarat Foundation fundraising coordinator Margo Pettit said Dancing With Our Stars was becoming an all of community movement to break the cycle of disadvantage in Ballarat.
Community members can get behind their favourite 'star' by voting online.
A $1 donation is one vote.
The dancer who collects the highest number of votes will be announced as the winner of the 2019 Ballarat Foundation Dancing With Our Stars.
"If everyone gets on board we can raise a lot of money to help the disadvantaged," Ms Pettit said.
Watch the video with the stars below.
The dancers are busy in lessons with The Dance Studio to prepare for the gala evening of glamour and ballroom glitz on June 22 at Civic Hall, where each star will perform a routine with their experienced dance partner.
Ms Upton will perform a New Vogue Swing Waltz with her partner Brenton Thomas.
"I was pretty nervous to start with but now I look forward to the lessons," Ms Upton said. "I'm improving."
Visit ballaratfoundation.org/dwos/ for more information and to vote. Look out for features of Ballarat's nine other dancing stars in The Courier each week.
The purpose behind the glitz and glam
The Ballarat Foundation is aiming to raise $100,000 through its biggest community fundraising effort yet - Dancing With Our Stars.
The philanthropic organisation's purpose is to unite community to break cycles of disadvantage.
"Regardless of circumstance or background no one person should be devoid of opportunity," the foundation's purpose statement reads.
"The causes of entrenched disadvantage are complex and no single organisation can solve these issues alone. We need to work together to achieve change."
The Ballarat Foundation's four key focus areas are school readiness, youth success, housing security and food security.
READ MORE: Ballarat Foundation's big community impact
In December the organisation estimated it delivered around $700,000 worth of community value throughout 2018.
Last year the foundation raised more than $65,000 to address food insecurity, with an additional $5 million state government investment for Foodbank hub in Ballarat announced in the lead up to the November election.
Four new events contributed to the momentum behind action on food insecurity; the Chairman's Lunch, Art for a Cause, Food for Thought and Run for a Cause as well as the launch of the Feed Ballarat campaign - and now in 2019 Dancing With Our Stars.
The foundation gifted $96,000 in grants to more than 20 community organisations, donated 6000 books through the Ballarat Reads program and distributed $10,000 in vouchers to assist vulnerable families with back to school vouchers last year.
More than 90 young learner drivers were given the opportunity to gain more than 3500 hours towards their license through the foundation's L2P program and 36 young drivers graduated from the program.