Here we go for the Press Ball

MAGIC and mystery are joining forces to make this year's Ipswich and Suffolk Press Ball 2005 one of the best ever, The Evening Star can today announce.

MAGIC and mystery are joining forces to make this year's Ipswich and Suffolk Press Ball 2005 one of the best ever, The Evening Star can today announce.

With the fabulous theme 'An Enchanted Evening' the night promises to be a spectacular night to remember for all involved.

Held at Hotel Elizabeth, Copdock, and now in its ninth year the annual Press Ball raises thousands of pounds for Ipswich based charity Disability Care Enterprise (DCE).

Since 1997 the Press Ball has grown to become one of the star occasions on the town's business and social calendar.

Carolyne Morey, project director for DCE, said: "The Press Ball is our major fundraising event of the year. It raises most of our annual income and raises the profile of the charity.

"People think we are a large charity but we are not, in fact we are very small but also very effective. The Press Ball means we will be able to help more people."

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Mrs Morey said the money will go directly to people in need of equipment.

She said: "What we do can have a dramatic effect on people's lives. Whatever money the Press Ball raises will be a bonus."

As preparations for this year's Press Ball get under way Mrs Morey thanked those who will be working hard to make it a memorable evening.

She added: "The plans for this year sound so exciting. It will be the bigger and better than anything done before."

But this fantastic event would not be possible without Call Connection, the company sponsoring the 2005 Press Ball.

Graeme Kalbraier managing director of Call Connection, said he had sponsored the first ball in 1997, when he was involved with a different firm.

He said: "The Press Ball has always been dedicated to raising money for DCE and it has now developed from raising a few thousand in the first year to raising the tens of thousands that we now raise.

"Every penny raised is used for the benefit of the children, young people and adults that need the help of DCE.

"I am delighted to be involved with this year's ball and I am proud that Call Connection is sponsoring it. The DCE makes such a difference to so many people's lives."

Evening Star editor Nigel Pickover said he hoped the ball would raise a minimum of £20,000.

He added: "I am thrilled that Call Connection has generously agreed to sponsor this year's Press Ball. It is another great year for the press ball and it promises to be a stunning event.

"It is great to be able to help the people of Suffolk. We are hoping it will be a sell out evening."

N The ball takes place on June 24 and tickets cost £1,000 per table of ten. There are a few tables left. For more information and to buy a table please contact Geraldine Thompson on 01473 324866.

SINCE its start in 1997 the Press Ball has raised thousands for Disability Care Enterprise (DCE).

Building on last year's theme Starry Potter this year's theme An Enchanted Evening will draw on the magic and mystery of illusion and sleight of hand and trickery.

Music and dancing, food and wine will be followed by an auction and tombola, with prizes donated by a number of businesses and organisations.

But behind the fun is the serious business of raising money.

Nigel Pickover, editor of The Evening Star, has already said he hopes the ball will raise at least £20,000.

If the money raised at this year's Press Ball meets that target then a grand total well over the £200,000 mark will have been raised over the years.

Carolyne Morey, DCE project director, said: "Last year raised about £31,000, which took the total to more than £190,000. The specialist equipment we help provide is very expensive.

"We can spend as much as is raised and it will help hundreds of people."

Stared 16 years ago DCE is a registered charity, which helps provide equipment for people with disabilities in Suffolk.

Mrs Morey said: "We provide those things not covered by the health or social services. When people cannot get help from anywhere else we step in."

Grants range from £40 to £4,000 and over the last two and a half years the charity has spent £250,000, money that has changed people's lives.

Mrs Morey added: "The DCE does not have an administration costs and as there are no running costs all the profit from the ball goes directly to the people who need it."

Money raised by the Press Ball

1997 £3,000

1998 £6,000

1999 £21,000

2000 £35,000

2001 £33,000

2002 £40,000

2003 £25,000

2004 £31,000

Grand Total so far £ 194,000

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