Patients, supporters and local businesses have raised thousands of pounds for the region’s air ambulance at a Cumbrian ball.
Ninety-five guests attended the Air Angels Charity Ball at the Crown and Mitre in Carlisle on Saturday 24 September in aid of the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).
The black tie event was hosted by TV presenter India Willoughby and raised £6,000 to go towards funding the GNAAS aircraft and its team of specialist doctors and paramedics.
Corporate supporters included David Allen Accountants and North East Truck Spares Ltd whose employees took to the dancefloor to show their support, alongside grateful survivors and air ambulance staff.
GNAAS chief executive, Grahame Pickering MBE, said: “Our annual Cumbria ball is fast becoming a highlight in everyone’s calendar. It’s a unique occasion for all those who support the charity to unite in celebration of our life-saving service.”
Liz Makepeace, from Armathwaite, has needed the help of the GNAAS crew twice. She attended the evening with a group of friends. She said: “It was a really cracking night and exactly what we needed. Without the air ambulance, I would be dead. The service is something we all need to look after and cherish.”
Susan Boylen, from Washington, was accompanied by her daughter Lauren who was airlifted after plunging more than 20ft down a cliff at Mowbray Park, Sunderland. She said: “It’s lovely to get dressed up. We’re so happy to support GNAAS in any way we can as we’ll never feel we could repay the enormous debt we owe to have Lauren with us today.”
Entertainment included live music from grateful parents, Tracy and Shaun Owen, whose son was also airlifted by the charity, alongside fellow singer Jane Amato, in their 50s and 60s band, Ruby’s Runawayz.
Longtown Mart auctioneers, Nick Woodmass and Ryan Roddan, helped to sell auction lots which included a hog roast for 120 people donated by Border Hog Roast, a year’s supply of Percy Pigs from Marks and Spencer, Washington, and a signed Carlisle United shirt and football donated by Carlisle United FC.
Mr Pickering said: “Every single penny raised helps us to continue to operate our air ambulance service and it means we can continue to invest into medical advancements so that we can keep on increasing survival rates for our patients across the region.
“None of this would be possible without the support of all those individuals and businesses who made the event possible through donations, sponsorship, entertainment and theming.”
The charity’s next Air Angels Charity Ball is at the Hilton in Newcastle on May 20, 2017. Tickets cost £60 and a special room rate of £95 is available for guests. Call 01325-487263 or visit our shop here.