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Press Ball raises £40k

PUBLISHED: 16:17 29 June 2002 | UPDATED: 12:12 03 March 2010

WE DID IT!!!

Today the Evening Star is licensed to thrill after we raised an astonishing £40,000 at the Ipswich and Suffolk Press Ball.

We not only smashed our £20,000 target but thanks to everyone involved in this gigantic fund raising effort, we DOUBLED the amount we had hoped to raise for Ipswich-based charity Disability Care Enterprise.

WE DID IT!!!

Today the Evening Star is licensed to thrill after we raised an astonishing £40,000 at the Ipswich and Suffolk Press Ball.

We not only smashed our £20,000 target but thanks to everyone involved in this gigantic fund raising effort, we DOUBLED the amount we had hoped to raise for Ipswich-based charity Disability Care Enterprise.

The superb sum of £40,000 was raised at the Press Ball – renamed Thunder Ball for one year only in honour of the special James Bond theme.

And the evening wasn't without its own Bond-style drama – three members of Suffolk Accident Rescue Service (SARS) who had received special thanks from Star editor Nigel Pickover rushed off to attend to an accident, returning to the ball only after saving yet another life.

Mayor of Ipswich Richard Risebrow was the ball's guest of honour and he was joined by members of the press as well as representatives from several large companies in Ipswich and Suffolk.

Throughout the evening a prime slice of British film heritage was transported to a small corner of Suffolk at the James Bond-themed ball.

The gathered audience was joined by look-alikes of famous characters from Bond films, such as Odd Job and Jaws and there was a casino.

At the start of the evening they were greeted by a circling helicopter from RAF Wattisham and the evening certainly proved to be a real flyer!

At that stage the 250 strong audience were unaware of just what a memorable night of fundraising this year's Press Ball would turn out to be.

The cheques kept pouring in throughout the evening - £3,500 from entertainer Barry Dye, £2,000 from Direct Motorline, £2,000 from Archant and £500 from Krullind boosted the appeal by £8,000 in under an hour.

With a dramatic totaliser flashing up the latest totals, the audience saw the amount almost quadrupled in two hours.

At 10pm the total stood at £11,680, but by 11pm the amount had beaten the target to stand at £27,031.

Just before midnight the target had hit £38,571 and within seconds that figure had become the all-important £40,000.

A good chunk of the total came through an auction of items including a signed Manchester United football which was snapped up for £900 and an RAF Wattisham trip for two to join the crew in action. That prize added a further £1,600 to the Press Ball kitty.

Evening Star Editor Nigel Pickover, paid tribute to some of the companies who had contributed so much to this year's ball including sponsors British Gas, Audio Visual Unit, Krullind and Archant.

In a moving speech, Mr Pickover also paid tribute to the late Ipswich MP Jamie Cann, who was represented on the night by his wife Rosie and son Andrew.

Mr Pickover was delighted with the amount of money that had been raised. He said: "This is wonderful – our best ever total. In six years we've raised more than £100,000. Now in one night, that figure is at least £140,000. It is a tremendous feeling to have shattered our target and it's concrete evidence that when it comes to fundraising, Suffolk certainly knows how to do it in style."

Carolyne Morey of Disability Care Enterprise was also thrilled that the Star had smashed through the £40,000 barrier in aid of Suffolk children.

She said: "We are simply delighted with this incredible achievement and I want to thank everybody who has given so generously tonight and over the last few weeks. Please be sure that every penny of this money will go to help local children. Thank you on behalf of the children you have helped."

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