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GeeWizz midsummer party hosted by cricketer and Strictly star raises £79k

PUBLISHED: 11:30 24 June 2019

Guests enjoy the GeeWizz Midsummer Ball.  PICTURE: Andy Abbott

Guests enjoy the GeeWizz Midsummer Ball. PICTURE: Andy Abbott

Archant

Former England cricketer and Strictly Come Dancing star Graeme Swann hosted a glittering party in Suffolk which raised more than £75,000 for charity.

Gina Long and Graeme Swann at the ball   PICTURE: Andy AbbottGina Long and Graeme Swann at the ball PICTURE: Andy Abbott

The GeeWizz Charity's Midsummer Night's Party was held at Hall Farm in Fornham St Martin, near Bury St Edmunds, for over 450 guests.

Swann, who recently became an ambassador for the charity, was the compere for evening and championed the work GeeWizz does throughout Suffolk. The event raised a total of £75,690.

Charity founder Gina Long MBE said: ''Our second GeeWizz Midsummer Night's Party completely surpassed our wildest dreams. I am overwhelmed by the support we received from our kind sponsors, all of the party suppliers, each one going above and beyond to ensure everything was absolutely perfect for our attending guests."

The GeeWizz Midsummer Ball took place at Hall Farm.  PICTURE: Andy AbbottThe GeeWizz Midsummer Ball took place at Hall Farm. PICTURE: Andy Abbott

"The generosity from everyone in the room was tangible and the evening created some magical memories. Graeme Swann did an outstanding job as our host, along with Rick Parfitt Jnr who literally got and kept the party goers dancing all night.

"More importantly, the huge amounts raised will allow us to do what we simply love doing, helping change many local lives. We send our heartfelt thanks to all involved."

The evening saw a Golden Ticket draw with watches from Preston & Duckworth, an auction led by auctioneer Edward Crichton of Lacy, Scott & Knight and proceeds from ticket sales contributed to the money raised.

Margaret Horsman and Elizabeth Taylor at the GeeWizz Midsummer Ball.  PICTURE: Andy AbbottMargaret Horsman and Elizabeth Taylor at the GeeWizz Midsummer Ball. PICTURE: Andy Abbott

Auction prizes included VIP Elton John farewell concert tickets, VIP Robbie Williams tickets, a Fantic Caballero Motorcycle, an Ed Sheeran signed painting, and private dining experience with Pascal Canevet at Maison Bleue.

Guests then took to the dance floor with entertainment from The Queens of the Night and world-renowned RPJ Band, led by lead singer Rick Parfitt Jnr.

Milsom Catering served a champagne canape reception, followed by three-course dinner.

Graeme Swann and Andrew Long  PICTURE: Andy AbbottGraeme Swann and Andrew Long PICTURE: Andy Abbott

The Great Event Company, Dreamwave Events, Figa & Co, TDC Cordless Lighting, Greene King, Coastline Graphics and Botanica, all helped create the magical party setting.

Key sponsors included joint main sponsors TRU7 Group and Abbeygate Wealth Management, supported by other leading sponsors TMJ Interiors, Momentum Pensions, Landguard Point, Chassis Cab, Toppesfield, Steve Lumley Planing Ltd, Krazy Horse and Ashtons Legal.

GeeWizz Charity was founded by Gina Long MBE in 2015 and was built around the ethos of transparent and accountable giving.

There were more than 450 guests at the GeeWizz Midsummer Ball.  PICTURE: Andy AbbottThere were more than 450 guests at the GeeWizz Midsummer Ball. PICTURE: Andy Abbott

It supports children and young adults in Suffolk and Norfolk who suffer from a life-threatening condition, disability or cancer.

There were more than 450 guests at the GeeWizz Midsummer Ball.  PICTURE: Andy AbbottThere were more than 450 guests at the GeeWizz Midsummer Ball. PICTURE: Andy Abbott

Queens of the Night were among the performers to provide entertainment  PICTURE: Andy AbbottQueens of the Night were among the performers to provide entertainment PICTURE: Andy Abbott

Gina Long, Graeme Swann, Margaret Horsman, Elizabeth Taylor, Andrew Long .  PICTURE: Andy AbbottGina Long, Graeme Swann, Margaret Horsman, Elizabeth Taylor, Andrew Long . PICTURE: Andy Abbott

Auctioneer Edward Crichton in action  PICTURE: Andy AbbottAuctioneer Edward Crichton in action PICTURE: Andy Abbott

It was a glorious summer evening for the ball  PICTURE: Andy AbbottIt was a glorious summer evening for the ball PICTURE: Andy Abbott

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The ball took place in the impressive setting of Hall Farm.  PICTURE: Andy AbbottThe ball took place in the impressive setting of Hall Farm. PICTURE: Andy Abbott

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The GeeWizz Midsummer Ball.  PICTURE: Andy AbbottThe GeeWizz Midsummer Ball. PICTURE: Andy Abbott

The event started with drinks in the evening sunshine.  PICTURE: Andy AbbottThe event started with drinks in the evening sunshine. PICTURE: Andy Abbott

The huge marquees were decked out with thousands of lights.  PICTURE: Andy AbbottThe huge marquees were decked out with thousands of lights. PICTURE: Andy Abbott

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