Guests at a White Christmas themed Ball raised an astonishing £140,000 for local children’s charity, the Children’s Adventure Farm Trust on Saturday 8th December at Mere Golf Resort & Spa.
Photographs kindly supplied by Andrew Collier Photography
The charity’s 21st annual ball was attended by 450 guests – that’s 150 more than the previous year, helping them to raise an additional £40,000 on their 2017 figure! Funds raised on the night will enable the charity to continue their work providing holidays and day visits to their 10 acre site in Millington for terminally ill, disabled and disadvantaged children from all over the North West.CAFT staff and volunteers (L to R) Back Helen Frank, Carol Robinson, Jure Modic, Katy Airey, Josie Collier, Marie Molnar, Tom Lockett, Rachel Brooks, Laura Grewer, Pippa Watton, Helen Crowther. Front Ian Eccles and Catherine Watton Kimmy Williams with CAFT Patron Cat Kingston
Host, Andy Ashworth, was joined by a team of helpers in welcoming their guests with a glass of fizz and the big band sounds of Wychcraft and close-up magic by the amazing Stevie Mandini. The White Christmas theme continued when guests entered the main room as a winter wonderland awaited them, complete with alpine snow scene, frosty trees and festive decorations.
There was even a chance to pose in the charity’s very own sleigh (sponsored by Cartwright Group and handmade especially for the event by M J Thomas) in a scene lifted straight out of the 1950’s film White Christmas which provided the event’s theme.
There followed a fabulous festive event full of fun and fundraising, with lots of surprises along the way! There were two of the charity’s trademark special raffles with the most amazing prizes! The Christmas cracker raffle saw one lucky winner going away with a beautiful 18ct white gold and diamond bracelet worth £1,695, donated by Randalls of Altrincham and presented by Martin Duff. And the second prize wasn’t too bad either – an 18ct white gold, diamond and rose quartz ring worth £600 donated by Robert Hallworth!Coronation Street’s Sally Carman draws the winning ticket in the Teddy Bear raffle Martin Duff from Randalls presents the winners of the Christmas Cracker Raffle, Jim & Carole Scott, with their prize Magician Stevie Mandini with guests
The Teddy Bear raffle saw the winner walk (well fly!) away with a pair of return tickets to New York courtesy of United Airlines and was presented by Coronation Street & Shameless star Sally Carman. Children’s author and illustrator (of Bob the Builder fame!) Curtis Jobling attended the event with his wife Emma and was only too pleased to lend a hand in presenting the winner of the Free Prize Draw with their prize of a magnum of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, donated by Ian Eccles of Beechwood Travel.
Thermotech Solutions were main sponsors of the event, and Transformulas, (who were there on the night) provided thousands of pounds worth of amazing table gifts for the guests, along with Next and Roberts Bakery.Rob & Cath Norman Caroline Fielding and Martin Mears
CAFT Patron, Cat Kingston, joined Andy Ashworth to draw the Grand Raffle with prizes donated by a whole host of supporters, including a case of Laurent Perrier Champagne worth £300 thanks to Northern Belle! But that was just the start as the charity had secured some amazing prizes for both the Silent and Live Auctions, including holidays to Portugal & Crete, exclusive tickets to the PFA Player of the Year Awards and a chance to meet CAFT Paton Jason Manford at one of his forthcoming gigs.
Guests were reminded why their support is so vital to the charity by mum of four, Suzanne Brooks, who gave a heartfelt and passionate speech about how the charity has helped her family following the terrible medical problems experienced by her daughter Sarah. Guests were moved to hear Suzanne’s story and many then went on to pledge to sponsor holidays for children in 2019.Suzanne Brooks during her passionate speech Dave Mulligan celebrates his auction win
Live music was provided by the Deadbeats who filled the dance floor for the duration of their set, and DJ Neil Bebbo rounded the evening off nicely before carriages at 2am.
Events fundraiser Pippa Watton comments: “This was such a wonderful night, our guests really are the best! Our staff and volunteers work so hard on this event and it’s so rewarding for us all to see everyone having such a great time. Every year we are blown away by the generosity of our guests and this year was no exception. To raise £140,000 in just one night is astounding, we’re all still reeling! This money will make such a huge difference to the children visiting us here at the Adventure Farm and we can’t thank everyone enough for their unwavering support.”
CAFT Patron Cat Kingston presents Miranda Carr with her raffle prize
For further information about future events or to enquire about the work of the Adventure Farm, call the Fundraising Team on 01565 830 053, or visit their website www.caft.co.uk