Charity ball raises more than £41k

Supporters of the region’s air ambulance service have raised more than £41,000 at a charity ball held in Gateshead this month, which is enough to fund ten missions.

Approximately 300 guests attended the circus-themed charity ball at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead on Friday 20 October in aid of the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).

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

The compere for the evening was Pete Graves, who is well-known for his breakfast show ‘Good Morning Sports Fans’ and his award-winning podcast ‘Transfer Talk, and there was also an appearance from Pam Royle, journalist and television presenter, and an ambassador for the charity.

The fundraising night featured carnival games, circus performers, an auction with money-can’t-buy prizes, a lavish three-course dinner, a raffle, and a disco.

Live music was also provided during the night by Soul Survivors, one of Cumbria’s premium bands, who will also be performing at the charity’s second ball at The Halston in Carlisle on Friday 10 November at 7pm.

Tracey Wright, events lead at GNAAS, said: “It was an absolutely brilliant night. Last year we had a 1920’s theme and a lot of people threw themselves into it and wore flashy sequinned dresses, feather boas and headdresses.

“We decided to go with a circus theme this year and while it wasn’t mandatory to dress for the theme, we were very impressed by some of the outfits we saw on the night.”

During the event, a montage was played which showcased some of the milestones the charity has achieved this year, thanks to the support of the public.

This included the charity beginning to operate 24/7 in the North East, expanding their night-time service in Cumbria to four nights a week and trialling carrying whole blood on board their aircraft and rapid response vehicles.

Mrs Wright added: “We’ve raised more than £41,000 which is enough to fund ten missions. That’s potentially ten lives saved, and ten families kept together as a result.

“I’d like to thank everyone who attended, our staff and volunteers who either helped on the night or in the lead up to it, and all the individuals and businesses who made the event possible through donations, sponsorships, and entertainment.

“We’re now looking forward to hosting our Cumbria ball in Carlisle in a few weeks’ time and raising even more funds to support our life-saving service.”

It costs the charity £8.5m a year to remain operational, and events such as the ball help to raise vital funds which enable the service to continue helping those in need across the region.

Tickets are still available for the Cumbria ball in Carlisle on 10 November, and you can buy them here.

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