20’s themed charity ball raises more than £50,000

Supporters of the region’s air ambulance service raised more than £50,000 at a ball held in Gateshead this month, which is enough to fund ten missions.

Approximately 300 guests attended the 20th Birthday Charity Ball at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead on Saturday 15 October in aid of the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).

For 20 years, the charity has provided critical care to the most severely ill and injured people in the region and responded to over 24,000 incidents.

To celebrate the milestone, the ball had a 1920’s theme with birthday games including pass the parcel to keep guests entertained throughout the night.

The event was hosted by Tim Lichfield, a multi-award-winning professional magician and entertainer, and there was a special appearance from auctioneer Charles Hanson, who has appeared on TV shows such as Bargain Hunt, Flog It! and Antiques Road Trip.

In addition to the auction hosted by Charles Hanson, there was a silent auction, raffle and disco, as well as a performance by Hazel Rayson Theatre Dance Studio, and live music by Hip Operation.

Guests at the ball included supporters, businesses, patients and staff of the charity, including GNAAS’ chief executive officer David Stockton.

Speaking at the event, after a montage video showcasing some of the charity’s achievements, he said: “We’re here tonight to say thank you very much to each and every one of you. I hope you’ve been as inspired as we have for the last 20 years after seeing what we’ve achieved.”

Currently the charity has a doctor, paramedic and pilot onboard their aircraft during the daytime seven days a week, and a paramedic and doctor team on a rapid response vehicle five nights a week in North East, but they hope to offer their service 24/7 in the near future.

Mr Stockton added: “We’ve got a very exciting 12 months ahead, and one of our missions is to make sure we’re there whenever people need us, but we can obviously only do that through your support.”

It costs £7.7m a year to keep the service operational and the average cost of a call-out is £4,478.

More than £50,000 was raised at the charity ball, which is enough to fund at least ten missions.

Tracey Wright, events coordinator at GNAAS, said: “It was a fantastic night, and it was great to see so many people dressed in 20’s themed outfits.

“I’d like to thank everyone who attended, our volunteers, and all the individuals and businesses who made the event possible through donations, sponsorships and entertainment.”

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