St Cuthberts Care's Holly Ball

December 2011

St Cuthberts Care's Corporate Ball was held on Friday 2 December at the prestigious Newcastle Gateshead Hilton. The Holly Ball was a fun-filled evening of festivities and fundraising from beginning to end. In aid of the charity's Alan Shearer Activity Centre, guests enjoyed a packed evening starting with a champagne reception. A five-course meal followed with a rather raucous music raffle and a money-can't buy auction. In keeping with the Scottish and Christmas theme, a Rod Stewart tribute artist performed some of the star's greatest hits then guests danced away the evening to the Paul James Band to well-known Christmas songs and to a few other dancing favourites.

The charity raised a net sum of £52,500. This is a staggering amount to make in this austere climate and the charity would like to thank all of the table hosts, their guests and the auction bidders for their generosity. Every single penny raised will go towards the charity's Alan Shearer Activity Centre, which opened its doors completely free of charge earlier in the year. This commitment costs St Cuthberts Care over £100,000 each year, but the charity has undertaken to fundraise annually; this ensures the poorest families of profoundly disabled children and young adults can use the Centre without any financial constraint.

Charity patrons, Lainya and Alan Shearer, Lady Elsie Robson and Mike Browne were in attendance. With many of the North's leading businesses and influential individuals hosting tables, the charity's annual ball has been billed as one of the best events in the North East's corporate calendar.

"The Ball enables us to continue to reach out to families; giving children and adults with disabilities opportunities which they would not have if it were not for the free services we offer. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who has helped our ongoing mission to support these local families".

Austin Donohoe, Chief Executive of St Cuthberts Care

"Now, more than ever, it is vital that St Cuthberts Care receives the support that it needs to continue its important work. We are delighted to support the charity, having enjoyed a long-working partnership with St Cuthberts Care for many years now."

George Penrice, of Sanderson Weatherall, main sponsor of the event

Highlights of the evening, included the music raffle where guests danced to songs by Scottish artists, including Donald where's yer troosers? Bye-bye baby and D'ya think I'm sexy, to name just a few, and winners all joined a "dance off", judged by Lainya and Alan Shearer, where one guest from each table took to the dance floor wearing fancy dress.

Throughout the night guests were entertained by magicians, Corporate Illusion and caricaturist Mike Giblin. Red, green and gold Lucky Balloons then flooded the room, for the St Cuthberts Care charity tombola.

Patrons Mike Browne and Lainya Shearer enjoying the music raffle Patron Alan Shearer with Mr Gallon Guests enjoying a dance during the music raffle