Fundraising delight for Suffolk mums

THREE mothers who spent months organising their first charity dinner are today celebrating raising more than £15,000 for cystic fibrosis research.Catherine McGuire of Stonham Aspal, Yvonne Whalley of Trimley St Mary and Paula Elwood of Stowmarket threw themselves into the deep end when they decided to organise the dinner dance but they are thrilled all the hard work has now paid off.

THREE mothers who spent months organising their first charity dinner are today celebrating raising more than £15,000 for cystic fibrosis research.

Catherine McGuire of Stonham Aspal, Yvonne Whalley of Trimley St Mary and Paula Elwood of Stowmarket threw themselves into the deep end when they decided to organise the dinner dance but they are thrilled all the hard work has now paid off.

The women, all mothers of children with cystic fibrosis and members of the Ipswich and Districts Cystic Fibrosis Support Group, will now donate the £15,023 raised by Friday's event at Ipswich's The Swallow Belstead Brook Hotel to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

"We were absolutely stunned. We'd said we would be thrilled if we got to £10,000," Mrs McGuire said.

Mrs Whalley added: "We're absolutely ecstatic."

All 108 guests who attended The Blitz Dinner Dance helped raise the impressive total when they purchased tickets for the event and took part in an auction and silent auction.

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Evening Star editor Nigel Pickover, who acted as auctioneer on the night, led guests in the bidding for lots ranging from a relaxing short break at Clarice House spa in Bury St Edmunds to a weekend at the Salthouse Harbour Hotel on Ipswich's Waterfront and a signed Greg Rusedski tennis shirt.

The auction raised £1,800, while a silent auction raised another £1,500.

Direct Motorlines managing director Graeme Kalbraier donated £4,000 raised through a charity cricket game involving the World Lashings XI, which was held in Ipswich in July, toward the staging of the event.

Ipswich Hospital consultant paediatrician Jim Gould addressed the guests during the evening and spoke about the improvements in treatments for cystic fibrosis sufferers.

The dinner dance was timed to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and was given a 1940s Blitz theme.

Suffolk-based Galaxy Big Band provided music as the guests danced the night away and their reactions to the event left the organisers thrilled with it's success.

Mrs Whalley said: "I think it really touched people's hearts to hear the truth about cystic fibrosis and to hear what it is like to live with.

"It's been a huge success in the way of getting cystic fibrosis recognised in the community as well."

After the success of the dinner dance the trio are already considering hosting future fundraising events.

"It's the first time any of us have ever done anything like this," Mrs McGuire said.

"It's been enormous fun. We're already talking about doing it again.

"It's good to be doing something and making a difference rather than sitting back and living with it."

Weblink: www.cftrust.org.uk

What do you think about the efforts of the fundraisers? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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