Press Ball on track for year of success

FANTASTIC news emerged from the Ipswich and Suffolk Press Ball organisers today as it was announced tickets for the glittering event have sold out.As preparations for the tenth anniversary press ball continue, Evening Star editor Nigel Pickover said: “I am delighted to announce this year is already a sell out.

FANTASTIC news emerged from the Ipswich and Suffolk Press Ball organisers today as it was announced tickets for the glittering event have sold out.

As preparations for the tenth anniversary press ball continue, Evening Star editor Nigel Pickover said: “I am delighted to announce this year is already a sell out.

“This is excellent news for the press ball and our chosen charity Disability Care Enterprise (DCE).

“We have sold 30 tables which means hundreds will be able to dig deep for DCE. We are hoping for a bumper year from one of Suffolk's most glamorous evenings.”


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Mr Pickover has set a challenging target to raise £35,000 this year to take the total raised during the last ten years to above £250,000.

There has been a stylish press launch and the event organisers have chosen the theme but behind the glamour and sophistication of the county's night of nights lies a serious purpose - to raise money for charity.

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Each year the ball raises thousands for one of Suffolk's most deserving charities. DCE helps families buy specialised equipment for disabled children and adults.

The charity's project director Carolyne Morey said: “The Press Ball is a fantastic night and we want people to come and have a great time.”

However it is not all champagne and canapés. During the course of the evening video footage of those who have benefited from the event is shown to the 300 or so guests.

The aim of the moving presentation is not only to encourage people to spend money during the auction but also to showcase the work of the DCE.

Mum-of-two Carolyne said: “The footage gives us the chance to tell the business community that is supporting us what we do with the money they donate towards DCE.

“The stories that appear in The Evening Star in the run-up to the Press Ball also highlight our work. The Press Ball is a big event but we are still a small charity and it is important to show people what we do.”

Based in Ipswich and with a remit to help Suffolk families, DCE employs just two staff, including Carolyne.

The charity is run by a dedicated 14-strong volunteer team which makes up the executive committee. One of the DCE sponsors, AXA, provides office support, removing the burden of administration costs.

Carolyne said: “DCE exists to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities in Suffolk. Whenever we get an application in we ask the question 'will this improve the quality of life of the people involved?'. If the answer is yes then we try to help.”

Speicliased equipment can be very expensive but not all grants made by the DCE need to be hundreds of pounds.

Carolyne said: “When I go out to speak to people they do not always want or need expensive equipment. Sometimes it's the smaller things that can make a difference.”

DCE has helped countless families and individuals since it was founded nearly 19 years ago and it spends all it can raise directly on those who need it most.

Carolyne, who has worked for the charity for 13 years, added: “I knew about the charity from my previous job at Radio Orwell. No other job can give you the satisfaction of knowing you are helping people and improving the community. I get to see the best side of people.

“I always tell people that we could easily be helping someone you know, your neighbour or your friend.”

Would you like to help DCE? For more information call Carolyne on 01473 288885 or e-mail her on info@dcecharity.co.uk

Weblink www.dcecharity.co.uk

SINCE its start in 1997 the press ball has raised thousands for charity.

A glittering event now in its tenth year, the ball is now the highlight of the county's social and business calendar.

And with the fabulous theme “Masquerade” the ball will be another night to remember.

Special gust star Bobby Davro will meet and greet guests as they step off the red carpet into a world of mystery and fantasy.

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

This year's Press Ball will be held at the Hotel Elizabeth, Copdock, on June 23.

Carolyne Morey, DCE project director, said: “The press ball is our major fundraising event of the year.

Last year raised about £22,000 which took the total to more than £200,000. The specialist equipment we help provide can be very expensive.

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

Graeme Kalbraier, managing director of press ball sponsors Call Connection, said: “Every penny raised is used for the benefit of the children, young people and adults that need the help of the DCE.

“I am delighted to be involved with this year's ball and I am proud that Call Connection is sponsoring it.”

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

Target 2006 £35,000

DCE spends £60,000 to £100,000 a year. The average family receives a grant of about £1,000.

The Press Ball is the biggest source of income for Suffolk Charity Disability Care Enterprise (DCE)

Lord Tollemache, Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, is DCE patron.

DCE was formed in 1988 after Angus McDonald, the father of a disabled daughter, was shocked when he found out the price of specialised equipment, so he decided to do something about it.

Past Press Ball themes have included James Bond, Black and White, Harry Potter and An Enchanted Evening.

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