Maxine DeHart's friends roast Kelowna dynamo for charity

DeHart roast raises $52K

UPDATE: 5:30 p.m.

Thursday night's comedy roast of Kelowna Coun. Maxine DeHart beat its goal and raised $52,451.

"Thanks again to everyone who attended and contributed to the United Way Celebrity Roast," says the United Way's Marianne Dahl.

"Huge thanks to Maxine and her family and all her supporters! Although the final tally is still a moving target, we are incredibly thrilled to report that we raised $52,451 to date! An evening of laughter and giving resulted in a wonderful show of local love."

You can still donate at: http://unitedwaycelebrityroast.com or at http://unitedwaysibc.om/donate.

ORIGINAL: 5 a.m.

Despite some barbs from her close friends, Maxine DeHart managed to laugh it all off and come out unscathed, mostly, Thursday night.

The inaugural United Way Celebrity Roast raised tens of thousands of dollars for the local charity, all while delivering plenty of laughs, and some groans, at the expense of the longtime Kelowna city councillor. 

“Nobody has done this in town and there's nobody better to roast than Maxine,” said Marianne Dahl, marketing and events manager for the United Way. “She's so well known and she's such a good sport that I know she can handle it.”

Dahl said the evening was based off the old Dean Martin Celebrity Roast, “to keep it in (DeHart's) era.”

Hundreds of people packed into the Willowstone Academy Auditorium at 7 p.m., and the festivities were kicked off by Train Wreck Comedy's Rob Baldson, the host for the evening.

Before things got too heated, DeHart donned a bulletproof vest, on the advice of Kelowna RCMP Supt. Brent Mundle, who was in attendance. 

The roasters included DeHart's own boss at the Ramada Hotel, Stan Martindale, along with fellow councillors Loyal Wooldridge and Ryan Donn. Radio host Phil Johnson also got in a few jabs, along with retired Global News anchor Rick Webber, Indigenous Winery's “Stuntman” Steve Francis, and Anna Jacyszyn, who added a musical component to her roast.

Despite the many digs throughout the night, DeHart's community- and charity-focused life was highlighted, including the 20 years she hosted the United Way Ramada Hotel Drive-Thru Breakfast. DeHart ended the drive-thru last year, after raising more than $900,000 over the event's life.

Dahl said Thursday night's roast replaced the drive-thru fundraiser this year, and they're hoping to raise close to $50,000.

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