The annual gala this year was our 8th fundraising event and it was a fun packed evening where where 120 guests were treated to lots of activities to get involved in. Arriving on the Red Carpet to collect their Martini Cocktails (sponsored by Bailbrook House), the tables adorned with giant dice and oversized playing cards added to the ambience of the theme of James Bond Casino Royale.
The bar area was stacked to the brim with all the raffle prizes (donated by businesses and individuals). Our great Auction which was run by the rather funny Colin Morley ( who even threw in a few of his jokes, like “Bono and Edge walk into a bar. The barman said not U2 again” and “Ive started bell ringing classes, although so far they have only shown me the ropes” Boom! Boom!). The main Auction had some super unique prizes such as a flight for 4 in a light plane donated by Richard Beath or one of the most generous donations of the night 3 x £1,000 vouchers from Nicholas Wylde of Bath.
Throughout the evening a blind Silent Auction (Auction Direct) ran where guests were able to bid on numerous fabulous items, like an Aerobic Adventure Flight taking you through some breath-taking manoeuvres and giving you the opportunity to take the controls yourself or something a little more sedate like the steam hauled journey through the English countryside on
the British Pullman Steam Train, whilst enjoying silver service and a champagne five course feast of contemporary cuisine. Even artwork from upcoming artist Paul Oz an explosive British portrait artist – focused on the maximum 3D impact and energy created in thick oil painting. Paul’s work has been commissioned by Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Theo Paphitis, Bruno Mars to mark his 24k Magic Tour, Muhammad Ali’s 70th, and by Sir Bradley Wiggins to celebrate his 2012 Olympics.
After the moving presentation by Val Huxley, CEO about the work of the charity and especially the child sponsorship programme giving the wonderful news that one of the children had recently married and is also training as a teacher, crowds of people grouped around the 3 casino tables where they were able to play Blackjack and the Roulette Wheel. The winner of the evening took away the wonderful donation from Bailbrook House Hotel of a one night stay at the Hotel with dinner included. Others gathered around the photography stand (MG Photos) to have their special James Bond photos taken.
One special visitor was Alexandra from our Romanian Project. Alexandra who is a music teacher works with the children in our sponsorship scheme and also gives free music lessons to some of the children when she has a spare space in her busy schedule. Alexandra treated the audience to 3 songs which totally blew us away. You can hear her version of Meghan Trainor & John Legend, Like I’m Gonna Lose You. We hope you like it as much as we did.
The evening was a huge success for the charity and we are very much looking forward to planning for 2019’s event.