Malcolm Roberts is working to bring the glitz, glam and beauty of the newly opened Canberra Hotel to the dancing stage in June, as one of ten-local identities participating in Dancing With Our Stars.
The hotel owner is asking for your vote to help the Ballarat Foundation break the cycle of disadvantage in the region.
Mr Roberts started dancing lessons and fundraising in March as part of the Ballarat Foundation's take on popular reality television show Dancing With The Stars.
Unlike some of Ballarat's other dancing competitors, Mr Roberts has had some experience in the dance world - he took weekly beginner dance lessons with Dance Studio owner Shelley Ross many years ago.
But the busy business owner admits it has been a challenge learning more advanced dance routines while opening the newly renovated Canberra Hotel - and there has been extra hurdles to overcome throughout the journey.
He and dance partner Hollie Sewell had to take three weeks off from rehearsals when he broke his toe, but is now back to rehearsing four hours a week.
It is an intense effort of preparation to perform a modern waltz and a group dance on the Civic Hall stage for the gala night on June 22.
"When I was approached to dance my initial response was to laugh, but I thought what a great cause and what a great fun thing to do," Mr Roberts said.
"I am really enjoying the practicing and the fun of it all. I forgot how much I do enjoy dancing."
Currently sitting seventh on the quickly-changing fundraising ladder, Mr Roberts is hoping to reach his goal of raising $10,000 for the Ballarat Foundation with the help of upcoming fundraising events.
When I was approached to dance my initial response was to laugh, but I thought what a great cause and what a great fun thing to do.Malcolm Roberts
Tickets are selling fast to the Canberra Hotel's Drag Bingo fundraising night on June 13, a night of fun and frivolity hosted by drag queen LUX. A fundraising high tea will also be held at the hotel on June 16.
The events come after Mr Roberts and his partner Michael opened the Canberra Hotel last month, spending six months renovating the 1884 building on the corner of Macarthur Street and Creswick Road.
You can vote for Mr Roberts, or one of Ballarat's nine other dancing stars online, visit ballaratfoundation.org/dwos/.
One dollar equals one vote and one entry to win a diamond ring valued at $22,400, donate by Ballarat business Gems and Jewels.
Call Malcolm on 0421 160 797 to book tickets for the fundraising events.
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.
[Ballarat Foundation chief executive Matt Jenkins reads to children at Begonia Festival to promote the Ballarat Reads program. Picture: Adam Trafford]
Ballarat Foundation chief executive Matt Jenkins reads to children at Begonia Festival to promote the Ballarat Reads program. Picture: Adam Trafford
"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.
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.