Stone’s fundraising sisters Ange and Cath Arnold hosted their 11th annual Staffs Air Ambulance Ball at the County Showground on Saturday, 10th October, with the evening raising in excess of £11,000 for the County Air Ambulance Trust.
The ball saw revellers arrive in black tie and ballgown for an evening of entertainment including a fabulous four course meal courtesy of Jenkinson’s Caterers, a charity auction led by Ben Gamble of Cuttlestones’ Auctioneers & Valuers and great live music from local party band the Cartoon Kings.
After dinner – the main event being a joint of roast beef carved by guests at the table – auctioneer Ben took centre stage to whip up a bidding frenzy on no less than eleven generously donated lots. Highlights included week’s canal boat holiday from the Canal Cruising Company which sold for £900.00; a break in a Cotswolds cottage, kindly donated by Lois Benson, which went for £950.00; an iPad mini bundle courtesy of Village Hotels which achieved £380.00; a tour of the Rochester site donated by JCB which sold for £270.00; two Village Edinburgh Hotel breaks on which the hammer fell at £440.00 and £460.00 respectively; and an Aniscrow Hotel Break that saw bidding go up to £330.00.
With the auction lots sold, winners were drawn for some fantastic raffle prizes – once again kindly donated by supporters of the event – before the band got everyone up on the dancefloor with renditions of popular party hits. Organiser Cath says of the evening:
“Every year seems to get better than the last, and this year was no exception. There was a fantastic atmosphere and everyone was out to have a great night in the name of a very good cause. Our whole reason for running this event is to raise funds for a service which you literally never know when you might need. Its intervention, should you have an accident, could literally mean the difference between life and death.
“Air Ambulance services are entirely self-funded, so rely on their own fundraising efforts and those of their supporters to operate. The reason we chose the County Air Ambulance Trust to donate our funds to is that it works with several local midlands air ambulance services to help assist with critical investment projects – from buying new kit to providing funds to install helipads at hospitals. We’re delighted that this year we’ve raised the largest sum from any ball to date – at least £11,000 – all of which will go directly to helping the trust continue its vital work.”
Plans are already underway for the 2016 Staffs Air Ambulance Ball – for details or to sign up to receive email updates about the event, visit http://www.staffsairambulanceball.co.uk/