KENT charity ellenor – which supports families facing terminal illness – celebrated its 30th birthday in style on Friday night (6 November) by holding the Orange Ball, its first London ball, which raised a fantastic £62,000 on the night for the charity.
Held at The Grange, St Paul’s and sponsored by Berkeley Homes Eastern Counties – the Orange Ball was attended by all of ellenor’s celebrity patrons: Charlotte Hawkins from Good Morning Britain; TV property expert, Phil Spencer; Tom Parker from The Wanted; and former EastEnders actress Cheryl Fergison.
On arrival, guests were entertained by singer Jamie Johnson, a finalist in The Voice and balloon modeller extraordinaire, Miss Ballooniverse. The star-studded evening included a balloon raffle, a silent auction and a live auction – hosted by ex-England cricketer, Chris Cowdrey. The auction lots included two VIP hospitality tickets in the Premier League hospitality box at the Emirates Stadium for Arsenal v Manchester City; a behind-the-scenes tour of the Good Morning Britain studio with Charlotte Hawkins; lunch at 1 Lombard with Tom Parker; and a Harley Davidson motorbike, kindly donated by Councillor David Elliott, the Mayor of Tunbridge Wells – who is supporting ellenor during his year in office.
Following dinner, guests were introduced to Liz Green and Matthew Wenham, the parents of one of ellenor’s young patients, one year-old Mia, who gave an emotional account of how the care provided by ellenor has helped them to cope with the shock of finding themselves with a terminally ill child.
Liz Green said: “With the 24/7 help and support of ellenor, we can care for Mia at home. We could be blessed with five to 15 years with our precious daughter and, every year we reach will be a milestone. I feel safe knowing ellenor will be by our side throughout.”
Moved by what Liz and Matthew had to say, a number of guests very generously pledged to pay for hours and days of care with £180 paying for a day of care provided by one of the Specialist Children’s Nurses at ellenor. In total, £8700 was raised through these pledges and the charity is keeping this open on its website at www.ellenor.org/events/event-details/orange-ball-pledges
The entertainment continued into the evening, with a performance from the fabulous FabbaGirls and concluded with dancing accompanied by a DJ.
achel Holweger, Fundraising Director at ellenor said: “We rely on the community to help us continue supporting the growing number of children and families that need our care – so we are delighted to have raised such a fantastic amount at our very first Orange Ball. Thank you to everyone who made this event so special – including our wonderful celebrity supporters. We
are already looking ahead to next year and making plans for the Orange Ball 2016.”