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Anzac Tea Dance to raise funds for The Royal British Legion

27 January 2009

Anzac Tea Dance logoThe Royal British Legion and Anzac Biscuits are calling on schools and other community groups across the country to organise Tea Dances for Anzac Day on April 25th.

The money raised from the Anzac Tea Dances will be used by The Royal British Legion to support the Serving and ex-Service community and their dependants with financial, social and emotional support.

Almost 80 schools have registered an interest in taking part in this campaign, more than doubling the amount of dances that took place in 2008.

Russell Thompson OBE, Director of National Events and Fundraising, said: "We are delighted at the number of people who are organising tea dances across the country.

"We would like as many people as possible to get involved and organise a tea dance in their area for Anzac Day."

The Anzac Tea Dance campaign is designed to get children, parents and grandparents to enjoy a good old fashioned tea dance as well as raise funds for The Royal British Legion.

Karen Hardy from Strictly Come Dancing with Chelsea Pensioner Company Sergeant Major Bill Moylon, 92, at the 2008 Tea Dance launchCelebrity dancer Karen Hardy, from Strictly Come Dancing, said: "Dancing is not only invigorating and great exercise, but it can bring generations together, so we are encouraging people across the country to get up on their feet and support this great cause."

Tea Dances grew in popularity during World War I by providing respite for British Servicemen and women on leave. Today an interest in dancing and, in particular tea dancing, is making a return due to the increased popularity of television programmes like BBC1's Strictly Come Dancing.

Anzac Biscuits which are sponsoring the event, will be supplying the all important tea and biscuits as well as music for the tea dances. It is a regular supporter of The Royal British Legion and donates 4% of its sales annually.

Anzac Biscuits can be found in Morrison's, Sainsbury's and Waitrose. They were named after the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, who first fought with British soldiers during World War I, and were originally baked by Australian wives and mothers as a treat for their loved-ones on the front-line. The biscuits were baked with oats, treacle and syrup which meant they did not perish during the long journey from Australia and New Zealand to reach the troops in Europe.

Schools and members of the public can register their event online at www.anzacteadance.com, or call Anzac Tea Dances on 0870 240 1640. They can also get in touch with their local Royal British Legion fundraiser on 08457 725 725.

For further press information contact James Watts (james.watts@sirenpr.co.uk) or Rebecca Shay (rebecca.shay@sirenpr.co.uk  at Siren PR on 0203 008 6280.

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