On Friday evening it was the East Cheshire Hospice Winter Ball at Mere Country Hotel and I was the guest speaker. Possibly THE most nerve wracking thing I have done in a long time. You will remember that I am not a fan of standing up and speaking in front of real live actual people. So imagine my terror when I had to get up onstage with about 200 people watching and tell them Adam’s story and why I care so strongly about the Hospice @ Home. It was an incredible event with a 1930’s feel to the stunning room decor. Great white plumes of feathers for the table centre pieces. The Hospice director Karyn Johnson welcomed everyone to the event and then we were off. Our MC for the evening was called Paul and he was an absolute treasure, he knew I was nervous and he promised to escort me across the room to the lectern to make sure I didn’t slip and fall on my riduculous high heels. I am not a high heels kinda gal and I had followed my good friend Fiona Epstein’s advice and dressed for myself rather than wearing a sparkly dress. Leather leggings and an immaculate white shirt I felt comfortable and myself, the strappy high heels my nod to tradition. My speech was to be after the main course so I had a long sober evening to wait for my time on stage. Plenty of time to watch the incredible drummers called SPARKS who literally lit the room with their mid blowing routines, plenty of time to watch the dancers and plenty of time for Darren to purchase us some Diamond Raffle and tombola tickets. A nice bottle of single Malt Whisky and a bottle of Veuve Cliquot …. Thank you very much!!
We only felt guilty for a few seconds when Ken and Judy Grant only won Maltesers and an advent calendar.
Then it was time, the main course was over and the plates were being cleared and I made my way across the stage clinging to Paul for support. It actually was ok, I was nervous but realised I had to just get on with it… deep breath…. wait for the room to quieten. Thankfully with the lights pointing towards me I couldn’t see the sea of faces looking in my direction, my voice worked and the mic didn’t squeak or have that nasty feedback sound that I dreaded. Before I knew it I was holding up the BIG cheque for £500 that Jamie Lundy from Full Circle Productions had pledged and it was over. A huge round of applause and I was free to head back to my seat. This is where the fun really started, whilst I was making my way back to my seat I was stopped by several people along the way. ” I never expected to hear the words ” I will match that cheque!” not once but twice, then 3 times. I sat down and on the table was my dessert, “look underneath,” said Darren. “Weirdo” I thought, Why on earth would I need to look under my desert plate….. Well an IOU for £1000 from Howard and Juliette Burke was why, that was swiftly followed with matching pledges from Ken and Judy Grant and Mike and Claire Sutton. The generosity of the people at the event absolutely floored me, brought me literally to tears. By the end of the evening I had pledges totalling £9000.
Next up was the auction, during the week I had collected the cycling skin suit from Dame Sarah Storey and the team at Art Graphics UK LTD had framed it ready to auction on the night. This raised another £1000 with a wonderful gentleman bidding against himself to see it reach its price. So on the night my supporters have totally outdone themselves with a grand total of £10000.
The event as a whole raised £93500 on the night so totally mind blown to be a part of the process. Thank you everyone and for those who pledged and for anyone else who might want to support me please follow the link to my just giving page.