Ipswich: Press Ball aims at �20,000 charity target

IPSWICH: It is one of the glittering events in Suffolk’s social calendar – and this year the Press Ball is back and aiming to raise �20,000 for charity.

The annual fundraiser, organised by The Evening Star, is celebrating its 15th anniversary and this year will support the Cystic Fibrosis Trust as well as new mayor of Ipswich, John Le Grys’ chosen cause.

As Local Newspaper Week comes to a close, we have highlighted a number of charities and causes which the Star – which was shortlisted at the Press Gazette’s Regional Press Awards – and its readers support.

Today we turn the spotlight on the annual ball, which has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity over the last 15 years.

Last year the Press Ball raised �12,500 for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, but this time the aim is to go bigger and better to help people living with the debilitating disease.

Organiser Mick Parker said so far 20 tables have already been snapped up to enjoy the event at the Ipswich Corn Exchange on Friday, June 17.

“We are really excited about this year’s event,” he said. “We are hoping to raise at least �20,000 for both the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and the new mayor’s chosen charity, which will be decided in the coming weeks.

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“For ten years we supported the charity Disability Care Enterprise, helping build sensory rooms and buy equipment, all for children and young people living with disabilities locally.

“It is always a fabulous event and this year promises to be better than ever.”

This year the effect which cystic fibrosis has on people’s lives has been highlighted by the moving story of Kerry Thorpe.

The 20-year-old is desperately facing a race against time as she waits for a double lung transplant which would save her life.

Since her story broke, dozens of Star readers have signed up to the donor register.

Evening Star editor Nigel Pickover said Kerry’s story is an inspiration – and another reason why the Press Ball is so important in Suffolk.

“The Press Ball is the glittering event on the county’s social calendar,” he said.

“We are all looking forward to the wonderful night and are hoping to raise even more money than ever for this fantastic cause.

“People like Kerry Thorpe are a shining inspiration.

“Her touching story shows how vitally important it is for us all to give our support to charities like the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

“The charity does fantastic work with people of all ages who are suffering from this horrible disease, and we are proud to be raising much-needed funds for them again this year.”

n If you are interested in Press Ball tickets for 2011, please contact the mayor’s secretary, Christine Christensen, on 01473 432641.

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