Revving up for the Press Ball

EVERY year the Ipswich and Suffolk Press Ball is a sell out night of glamour and glitz. But at the heart of the glittering event is a mission to raise thousands of pounds for Suffolk charity Disability Care Enterprise.

EVERY year the Ipswich and Suffolk Press Ball is a sell out night of glamour and glitz. But at the heart of the glittering event is a mission to raise thousands of pounds for Suffolk charity Disability Care Enterprise.

Today JAMES MARSTON showcases the magnificent auction prizes that will help the Press Ball achieve its aims.

THE promise is out there - organisers have promised the Ipswich and Suffolk Press Ball will be 'bigger and better' than ever before.

With its mysterious theme of “Masquerade,” the sophisticated night of nights promises to be an event to remember for the 300-or-so guests. Special guest star Bobby Davro will meet and greet guests as they step off the red carpet into a dazzling world of glamour and fantasy.


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Since the first Press Ball back in 1997 the event has raised thousands for Suffolk-based Disability Care Enterprise (DCE) a charity which provides specialist equipment for disabled people.

Music, dancing, delicious food and fine wines will be followed by the evening's central event-the Press Ball auction.

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Companies, organisations and individuals from across the country have this year dug deep to provide their support to the Press Ball by donating a raft of amazing and exiting auction prizes.

From fascinating sports memorabilia to a two night stay in a luxury health farm, the auction promises to tempt guests to part with their hard earned cash and competition for the stunning prizes is expected to be stiff.

Carolyne Morey, DCE project director, said: “Last year's Press Ball raised about £22,000 which took the total during the last ten years to more than £200,000. The specialist equipment we help provide is very expensive.

“The auction is the climax of the Press Ball which is our major fundraising event of the year. I want to thank all of those who have donated an auction prize from the bottom of my heart. We rely on their generosity and without them we simply would not exist.”

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.

“This year's organisers have pulled out all the stops. The auction promises to be a fantastic event and I hope it will help us raise as much as possible. I want to thank everyone who has donated their time, products or services to the auction-without them we just couldn't do it.”

Bridget York, director of top London-based events organisers Entire Affair, is helping to organise the Press Ball. She said: “This year the auction prizes have surpassed all our expectations. The generosity of companies never ceases to amaze me. The quality of the auction lots this year will undoubtedly go a long way to help raise the much needed funds for DCE.

“I am certain this will be a night to remember with significant sums of money being donated. I too would like to personally thank all the companies involved who have so generously donated these magnificent prizes- the best yet!

“I just can't wait for the 24th to come, after a year's hard planning I want to see it all come to fruition, the Press Ball is my favourite event of all.”

Evening Star editor Nigel Pickover said: “The Press Ball is always a fabulous event and the tenth anniversary ball will be no exception. But we are there for a reason and that is to raise as much as we can for Disability Care Enterprise. “On behalf of the Evening Star and our readers I want to thank every company, organisation and individual that has so kindly supported the Press Ball. This year's fantastic auction prizes will allow us to encourage guests to dig deep for DCE.”

Here are some of the auction lots:

A meal for four at The Galley, in Ipswich. Guests will be transported by a stretch limo, with champagne on arrival. Donated by The Galley restaurant.

Owner Ugur Vata has been a supporter of the Press Ball for many years.

He said: “This is my community and I am delighted to help DCE. I have always been impressed by the work of DCE and though our contribution is nothing compared to some of the others but I am very proud to be able to help this particular charity.”

Pampering spa break for two at any of Champneys UK spas. This midweek break includes accommodation, all meals and two treatments per guest. Donated by Stephen Purdew of Champneys. Sharon Scott, spokeswoman for Champneys said: “We are delighted to be able to support the tenth anniversary Ipswich and Suffolk Press Ball. DCE is such a deserving cause and we wish the Press Ball organisers every success.”

The World Cup is in full flow and this England shirt has been signed by stars of the current squad, including Rooney, Beckham, Lampard, Ferdinand and Terry. Donated by Champion Sports.

A Malaysian meal for up to eight people, cooked in the winner's home by top Suffolk chef Vernon Blackmore. Donated by Vernon Blackmore.

Vernon said: “DCE is a charity which I have supported for several years now. I am very impressed with the work they have done over the years and what they have achieved. It is important to support local charities.”

Designer 18ct white gold diamond solitaire pendant from the 'Ice Mountain' collection, generously donated by Mark Riley of Riley and Riley.

n Lot 6: A child's 50cc automatic two seater buggy capable of a maximum speed of 25mph. Ideal gift for any child aged between 6 - 12 years old. Donated by Toyz4Boyz.

A pair of signed scorecards commemorate two of the greatest ever golfers, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. In 2005 Jack said farewell to the Masters and the Open - both were won by Tiger Woods. Two Augusta scorecards have been signed by Tiger and Jack respectively. Donated by Champion Sports

A unique designer hat by Trishe Darling, plus a tour of The Hat Shop at Burnham Market, lunch with the owner Gloria Hurn and £200 of Windsmoor vouchers to purchase an outfit at Ipswich Co-op, for Newmarket races. The prize includes a VIP tour of Newmarket racecourse, tickets for Ladies Day and the members' enclosure, plus car parking. Donated by Gloria Hurn, The Hat Shop and Windsmoor.

Mrs Hurn said: “We are delighted to be able to support this year's Press Ball. The event allows us to showcase our work as well as help a worthy cause.”

Jan Lankester, concession manager for the Jacques Vert group said: “We are delighted to offer a £200 gift voucher towards an outfit from our Windsmoor range at the Co-op Department Store in Ipswich.

“DCE is a very worthy cause and we are extremely pleased to be able to help. We hope the auction raises a huge sum of money.”

Following last year's Ashes win, England captain Andrew Flintoff has donated a signed framed shirt, photos, book and miniature 'Lords' cricket bat and ball. Donated by Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff in association with Barry Dye Entertainments.

Barry Dye said: “I have been involved with DCE since it started back in 1988 and I sit on the Press Ball committee. “Thanks to my daughter Hayley, who is good friends with Andrew and his wife Rachel, I have been able to organise this prize. We have some fantastic items in this year's auction and we are hoping it will help raise a lot of money for DCE.”

A 14-night cruise on board the Black Prince, Black Watch, Braemar or Boudicca. Choose from a variety of destinations including the Mediterranean and the Arctic Circle. Accommodation in an outside cabin, all meals and on-board entertainment included, worth up to £2,900. Donated by Fred Olsen. Managing director Mike Rodwell said: “All three Ipswich based divisions of Fred. Olsen - Cruise Lines, Travel and Agencies - have worked with DCE for several years now, and as a major employer in the area we are delighted to be able to show our support in this way.

“I'm confident that the 2006 Ball will be the most successful one yet!”

A 1966 replica World Cup shirt autographed by England goal scorers Martin Peters and Sir Geoff Hurst. Plus a portrait of them and England captain Bobby Moore holding the World Cup. Kindly donated by Peter Banner, Champion Sports.

Peter Banner, director of Rochdale-based Champion Sports, said: “We do a great deal off work with charities across the UK and we really enjoy it. We are delighted to be able to donate memorabilia to this year's Press Ball. Hopefully it will help raise a few thousands for the DCE charity.”

A weekend or midweek break for a family of up to six, at Center Parcs. Choose from Suffolk, Nottinghamshire, Wiltshire or Cumbria. Excludes bank or school holidays. Donated by CenterParcs.

A spokeswoman said: “Center Parcs are proud to offer our continued support to the Ipswich Evening Star and Disability Care Enterprise.

“We wish them the very best of luck with their Masquerade Ball and hope that our donation helps to raise a substantial amount for this very worthy cause.”

The prize in the annual Heads and Tails game will be a midweek or weekend break for two at the Ufford Park Hotel, including a round of golf. Kindly donated by Ufford Park.

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.

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

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