2017 Dinner and Dance at The Priory Barn, Wymondley
3rd November 2017
The dinner and dance is our main fundraiser each year. Two years ago we managed to raise £25k in our 25th year, last year we reached our target of raising £26k in our 26th year so this year we aimed to raise £27k in our 27th year. We were therefore thrilled that we surpassed our target and reached £28,100.
Guests enjoyed drinks and canapes on arrival before being seated for dinner. Our compere for the evening was Ewan Murray, Public Relations Manager at The Wine Society who was absolutely fantastic and kept guests entertained throughout the night. Ewan welcomed Sharon Bell MBE, Group Manager of Stevenage South Children’s Centres and Hilary Davies, deputy head teacher at Greenside School to the stage to share with the audience details of how funding from Stevenage Community Trust has helped their organisations and the impact our support has had on the children and families. Hilary Davies told a heart-warming story of how a grant from the Trust paid for a touring pantomime to visit the school and perform to the pupils aged 2-19 years with a range of complex, severe and profound learning difficulties. One child who struggled in social situations and would not have been able to attend a pantomime at a local theatre, not only enjoyed the performance but sat right at the front for the duration – staff at the school were astounded and thrilled to see the child so happy in what may otherwise have been a distressing experience.
Following a sumptuous 3 course meal our fabulous guest speaker Roz Savage shared her experiences as the first (and so far only) woman to row solo across the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans. She holds four Guinness World Records and was appointed an MBE for services to fundraising and the environment in 2013. Having had a career as a management consultant until the age of 33, in 2000 Roz made a radical life change. She left her job and comfortable city life to row solo across the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, using her adventures to inspire action on our environmental challenges. She now speaks and writes on global issues, taking a systems approach to designing a sustainable and fulfilling future for our world.
The winners of the silent auction were then announced with some fabulous prizes won including a week’s stay at an exclusive villa in Majorca, a day’s cruise aboard a luxury yacht on the Solent, a chance to feed the lions and tigers at Paradise Wildlife Park and tickets to Glyndebourne, one of the greatest opera houses in the world. There was also an abundance of fantastic prizes up for grabs in the raffle from a Fortnum and Mason hamper to a family pass to Knebworth House, park and gardens. With the total funds raised slightly short of our ambitious target, Ewan Murray and Robin McMillan from The Wine Society conjured up a last minute auction prize which added a whopping £1,200 to the coffers which not only allowed us to reach the target but surpass it by over £1,000.
Ken Follett and his band ClogIron then took to the stage. Their performance did not disappoint and the dance filled up quickly and remained so for the duration of the evening.
Caroline Haskins, Manager at Stevenage Community Trust said,
“We are overwhelmed by the generosity of so many who contributed to the success of the evening and thrilled that we were able to exceed our target and raise a staggering £28,100. Our thanks go to all those who supported the event, in particular, our main sponsors; The Follett Office, Stevenage Packaging Ltd, HRJ Foreman Laws, Wagstaffs, The Wine Society, Own Homes, Toppers Print and Design, Barnaby’s Florists and Ian Campbell.”
Chair of the Trust Robert Stewart said,
“For the third consecutive year the kind, generous sponsors and guests at our annual black tie dinner and dance helped the Stevenage Community Trust to reach another record breaking amount for one single event beating last year’s total of £26,000. Whilst the result of £28,100 is a collaborative effort, Adrian and Jennie Hawkins and of Weldability and Simon and Pam Galbraith of Redgate Software’s magnanimous support along with so many others helped us realise these new heights – thank you. To be able to do so with our Founder Hilda Lawrence’s son Paul in attendance along with our evergreen former director Tom Johnson MBE was even more special. To top all of this off our guest speaker Roz Savage inspired us all with her vivid stories of how she single-handedly rowed across the Atlantic, Pacific and the Indian Oceans – truly an amazing evening with all the monies raised helping those in need with our community.”
2017 Annual Quiz Night
Another fun night was had by all who attended our annual quiz night. Huge thanks to sponsors RLF and everyone who supported the event and helped us to raise over £1,500 for worthy local causes. Well done to the winning team from North Hertfordshire College – champions for a third year!
Annual Golf Day
Knebworth Golf Club once again proved to be a fantastic setting for our annual charity golf day, organised and sponsored by RHG. Congratulations to the team from Visible Systems who were worthy winners, and runners-up TDI Solutions.
Wine tasting event at the Wine Society
The Wine Society hosted and sponsored a fantastic wine tasting event in the exclusive members' room at their premises in Stevenage. Valued supporters were invited to attend as a thank you for their continued commitment along with new businesses keen to find out more about the work of the Trust.