Final Press Ball preparations under way

TONGHT'S the night we're gonna make it happen.

TONGHT'S the night we're gonna make it happen.

Last minute preparations are now under way for the tenth anniversary Ipswich and Suffolk Press Ball and organisers today spoke of their excitement as the event draws near.

Bridget York, creative director of London events firm Entire Affair, said tonight is the climax of a year of meticulous planning and months of preparation.

Speaking to The Evening Star just hours before the champagne starts flowing, Bridget said: “I can't believe it's here, all the months of careful planning are now behind us, tonight we will see how it has all paid off!

“We are all so excited about this evening, and thrilled with the overall look and feel of the room. It really does look stunning.”

From the moment guests step on to the red carpet they will be taken to the magical fantasy wonderland that is this year's theme 'Masquerade'.

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Lois Beaumont, operations director for Entire Affair, said: “We are thrilled that we have been involved in the overall styling of the event, the red and black has created an ambience that is second to none.

“The room will be lit by candlelight and the walls flanked in starcloth to create the mystique of the masquerade masked ball.

“There are some fantastic auction prizes up for grabs and these together with a brand new shiny car for someone to win and take home tonight will go a long way to help us raise significant funds for DCE.

“This promises to be a night to remember!”

Business from across Suffolk have joined forces to provide sponsorship, auction prizes and raffle prizes - all aimed at raising as much money as possible for the Press Ball's chosen charity Disability Care Enterprise (DCE).

This year's VIP guests at the Hotel Elizabeth, Copdock will enjoy a champagne reception to get them into the party mood.

Hosted by Press Ball guest star Bobby Davro and Evening Star editor Nigel Pickover the reception is sponsored by Baker Tilly.

Putting the finishing touches to this year's stunning masquerade theme are florists Lucy Kennett and Jayne McCarthy, who used feathers, pampas grass and scented Grand Prix roses to make 32 stunning table decorations for tonight's event.

Jayne said: “We're delighted to be asked to do the Press Ball. We enjoyed it so much last year and this year we will be guests as well.”

See EdBlog at www.eveningstar.co.uk for Editor Nigel Pickover's hopes of reaching the £250,000 target.

The Press Ball received a massive boost today after Ipswich town boss Jim Magilton pledged his support to the event.

Manager Jim Magilton, just weeks into his new job, handed over a substantial donation to organisers yesterday to kick start the glittering fundraising event.

Mr Magilton said: “Unfortunately I cannot be there tonight due to other commitments. DCE is a fantastic charity close to my heart. I know what work they do and if there is anything I can do to help then I will.”

Nigel Pickover, Evening Star editor, said Mr Magilton's donation had been joined by a gift from the East of England Co-operative Society.

He said: “Since the Press Ball began in 1997 we have raised £217,000. Tonight we are hoping to raise £33,000 to break through the £250,000 barrier.

“This would be a fantastic achievement but it is going to be a tough target to meet. These fabulous donations from Jim and the Co-op are brilliant news for the Press Ball and are already helping us fulfil our dreams for DCE. I cannot thank them enough.”

PRESS Ball organisers today spoke of their determination to raise as much as possible for DCE.

DCE project director Carolyne Morey said: “Tonight is the biggest night of the year for Disability Care Enterprise. I would like to thank everyone that has put so much hard work and determined effort into what I know will be another memorable Press Ball.

“Good luck everyone!”

Graeme Kalbraier, managing director of Press Ball sponsors Call Connection, said: “The Press Ball never fails to impress and tonight will be one of the most exciting nights of the calendar. I know my guests have been looking forward to tonight for some time and I have no doubt this will be a fantastic night for us and a fantastic night for Disability Care Enterprise.”

Evening Star editor Nigel Pickover said: “The champagne will be flowing, guests will dine on fabulous food, there will be music, dancing and entertainment but behind all the dazzle and excitement will be the serious job of raising money for Disability Care Enterprise.

“Tonight is the tenth anniversary Press Ball so let's do our best to beat all records.”

1997-£3,000

1998-£6,000

1999-£21,000

2000-£35,000

2001-£33,000

2002-£40,000

2003-£26,000

2004-£31,000

2005-£22,000

Total so far-£217,000

DCE was founded in 1988 after Angus McDonald, the father of a disabled daughter, was shocked when he found out the price of specialised equipment.

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