Party Raises Funds for Local Charities
Many people make the commitment to help their communities through holding fundraisers. Quiz nights, walk-a-thons and bake sales abound for just such a reason. But few people make a habit of throwing multiple, fun-filled gala celebrations every year to help out their favorite charities. Ann Jones, of Burry Port, Wales, however, is one of those people.
Jones wanted to have a big party last October to celebrate her 46 years as a dance teacher, but that idea soon snowballed into her first charity gala. “I decided to mark the occasion; any excuse for people to wine, dine and dance! Trouble is, nothing is ever that simple with me! Within 24 hours my sedate gala night had become a vehicle for helping out two charities, the magnificent Help for Heroes (HFH) and the much undervalued Cat Action Trust.”
After registering the event with both charities and booking the town’s newly refurbished Memorial Hall to host the gala, planning really took off. Jones applied for a drinks license for the evening and hired the local rugby club to run the bar. She arranged for “a magnificent buffet,” booked three cabaret acts, and two of her own cabaret dance groups, the Birds of Paradise and the Fabulous Farmers.
Jones notes that some people in her small town felt a glamorous evening like the one she was planning was “too grand” for them, but she didn’t let it stop her. “I have to say that I took grave exception to such insulting views! This, I must say, added an even greater determination to prove such cynics wrong!”
She visited several local shops to gather 50 “fabulous raffle prizes”, which were all donated, and secured many advance reports in the local press. This impressive bit of hustle wasn’t quite enough for Jones, though. “I decided I really wanted some soldiers there to sell raffle tickets, socialise and accept the cheque at the end of the evening,” she says.
“It took a great deal of arranging, but the powers that be were so impressed with the organisation that they released six, rather handsome, officers to attend. They did a magnificent job; seeing men in uniform who had seen active service made people feel more connected to HFH.”
The first gala raised £747.50 for the charities, and Jones’ next gala, a masked ball planned for 18 April should prove to be an even bigger affair.
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