We are absolutely delighted to announce the huge success of our first ever independent Charity Ball at the beautiful Buxted Park Hotel in East Sussex. The spectacular event which raised £14,000, claimed top spot as our biggest fundraiser to date. Organised in its entirety by our fabulous Fundraising Coordinator, Samantha Norgate, we hope all who attended will agree what an amazing event it turned out to be.
The Silver Charity Ball celebrating Kangaroos’ special 25th anniversary year was packed full of surprises and the generosity of all in attendance was absolutely overwhelming. There are so many people to thank, none more so than our headline sponsor, Barratt Homes and the other businesses who also sponsored this event – a big shout out goes to Mortgage Heroes, RGC, Summit Environmental, and Sakala, and also to Buxted Park Hotel for their support.
We are hugely grateful for everyone’s input from the generous donations by our guests and sponsors, to the programme and auction card graphic design by Refresh Designs and printing services by the Lemonade Print Group, as well as prize donations from Flint and Co. Estate Agents, Buxted Park Hotel, Jackie Flynn, Mark Elwell, Freeman Brothers, Heritage, The Chequers Slaugham, The Foot Lady East Grinstead, The Blacksmiths Arms Billingshurst, The Ravenswood Hotel Sharpthorne and Barratt Homes.
So, a bit about the event. Following a red carpet arrival and a glass of bubbly, our photographer, Louise Sullivan from Be Me Photography kindly donated her photography services and took some fabulous photos of our very glamorous guests. Our guests were then treated to a wonderful live singing performance by Elliot Goldie and Dervla Ramsay, who’s child attends Kangaroos. Guests were also blessed with a special and graceful dance performance by dancers from Lianne Carter’s Turning Pointe School of Dance.
A 3-course dinner followed in the dining room, which was decorated to perfection. Thank you so much to Fraser Leggate for the stunning floral table decorations and to Sara Ellis, To Have and To Hire for the beautiful silver bows. Between courses the brilliant MC, Kevin Durham, kept guests entertained with a fun dinner table game and announced our best-dressed guest – John Holmes (we loved the shoes and that sparkly bow tie). Kevin then did a fantastic job as our auctioneer. Thank you Kevin – you were awesome!
Prior to the auction we got a real sense of the amazing work Kangaroos does in a short video of Maria Barnes and her child, who attends Kangaroos. Maria told a heartwarming story of how much the clubs, activities and outings mean to the family, and particularly to her son who enjoys every minute he attends, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room after that! A big thank you to Clare Jones of Brightlight Film who captured that wonderful story on film.
Our guest speaker Amie Wiggins, mother of Sidney-Mae, who attends Kangaroos, and team member at Harlands Group in Haywards Heath, who have been generous in their support of Kangaroos, told of the joy Kangaroos has brought to her daughters life and to the family as a whole.
We ran a silent auction which involved guests submitting auction cards for lots, which included 12 weeks gym membership at Potential Personal Training, 4 life coaching sessions with ‘Coaching with Nisanka’, a weekend photography course courtesy of Nigel Wilson, a garden design consultation with Heather Martin Garden Design, 3 signed children’s books by Julia Donaldson, author of The Gruffalo, and a signed Liverpool Football shirt.
The live auction followed, which had everyone on the edge of their seats as the bidding wars kicked off. Lots included Handmade Bespoke ear-rings by award winning jeweller, Richard Talman of RTFJ, a 3-course meal to be cooked in the comfort of the lucky recipient’s home by culinary expert Richard Herret, a stylish Kangaroo drawing by artist Bryony Hill (wife of late husband, Jimmy Hill OBE), a family photoshoot by Be Me Photography, 2 week’s use of a family holiday home in Tobago, and 2 tickets to a preview and backstage tour of Madama Butterfly at the Royal Opera House, donated by Elliot Goldie and Dervla Ramsay, who made an impromptu operatic performance, which received a standing ovation.
Thank you so much to those who donated prizes and to the lucky bidders who raised the roof with their astounding generosity. We really were blown away.
With spirits high (and glasses topped up) the evening was rounded off in style with dancing to live music by the ‘Funk Around Band’.
Finally, a big thank you to Lauren Stoney, Julia Trevett-Smith and Imogen Trevett for their help on the night selling raffle tickets, helping with the auction and generally making sure everyone had a great time, and also to all of those who generously purchased raffle tickets. Our raffle alone made a staggering £2,000 – this has to be our best ever!
A truly great evening to end a truly brilliant year.