You can Bett on a dance fundraiser

Bett Morrison

Bett Morrison

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Bett Morrison from Gifford, in East Lothian, is a woman with a big heart, raising thousands of pounds for charity over more than a decade.

Even after she was diagnosed with cancer, her efforts to help others continued and she became well known for organising Strictly Dance Fever which has become one of the highlights of the annual Haddington Festival.

The event will take place again this year with local people stepping up to the mark to raise cash for Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Bett, of Kidlaw Farm, a former PE teacher, explained that she started fundraising for the North Berwick Angling Club, of which her husband Norman was a member, and Yester Church at Gifford.

Ceilidhs, a Burns supper, pantomime and East Lothian’s Got Talent contests were held while charities helping teenagers with cancer and leukaemia sufferers, and the work of Macmillan cancer care nurses, have also been supported by Bett’s efforts.

Bett, a grandmother, explained that in 2003 she started having “dreadful pains” in her side.

“I was doubled over. I was losing weight and started to be sick,” she said.

Doctors found she had a tumour on a muscle on her diaphragm, leading from her stomach to her groin, and she had successful surgery to remove it.

“I now have a dead leg as they cut away nerve endings,” she added.

Bett said she then had to undergo radiotherapy for breast cancer last year which was unrelated to the earlier tumour but added: “I have had a letter to say it has gone.”

This year’s Strictly Dance Fever will take place in the Corn Exchange, Haddington, on June 13 when local celebrities will take to the floor with professionals. The audience votes for the winner and Scottish international rugby legend Jim Renwick will present the trophy.

The public will also get the chance to attend the dress rehearsal the night before at 7.30pm in the Corn Exchange.

Taking part are Anita Edwards, a personal trainer at Gullane Gym; farmer’s son Euan Cunningham from Gullane, who works at Lindsay grain merchants; Jenny Potter of Whynot?, North Berwick; Eddie Balfour, Haddington Running Club; Janey Jack of Snawdon Farm, Gifford; Rhodri Thomas from East Linton, a former Haddington rugby captain and Tranent teacher; Miranda De Burgh, an East Linton doctor, whose husband is singer Chris de Burgh’s cousin; Brian Douglas from Gifford, a former president of the village hall committee; Lyndsey Wood from Prestonpans, manageress at Archerfield; and Stephen Rudyj, general manager at Tustain Motors, Haddington.

Tickets are available from Joe Forte Sports, High Street and Gibson’s, Market Street.

AVRIL CAMPBELL