Your chance to learn from top chef

A TOP Woodbridge chef has today offered his services to the fundraising efforts of the Ipswich and Suffolk Press Ball.

A TOP Woodbridge chef has today offered his services to the fundraising efforts of the Ipswich and Suffolk Press Ball.

Vernon Blackmore, of the Anchor Inn pub in Woodbridge's Quayside is to offer a day's cooking lesson as an auction prize at the glittering event.

Mr Blackmore, a long standing supporter of the press ball, said: “I thought this year I'd do something different and offer the winner a cooking lesson and then in the evening they can ask a number of friends to join them and eat what they have cooked.”

Mr Blackmore, who has been in the catering trade for the last 25 years, said he enjoys supporting the Press Ball.

He added: “It is important to give something back to the community and my support of the press ball allows me to do that.”

Since the inaugural ball in 1997 the press ball has raised thousands for charity and this year the Press Ball organising committee has chosen the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and Disability Care Enterprise as the 2008 beneficiaries.

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Held at the Hotel Elizabeth, Copdock, on Friday, June 20, music and dancing will be followed by an auction and tombola with prizes donated by a number of businesses and organisations.

Bridget York, creative director of events firm Entire Affair, said: “Vernon is a brilliant chef and a day with him will be an amazing experience.”

With this year's Champagne Ball theme and legendary group The Original Buck's Fizz, the Press Ball is expected to be the last word in luxury and sophistication.

Evening Star editor Nigel Pickover said: “Vernon joins a long line of businesses and organisations that have been extremely generous in providing auction and raffle prizes. We are very grateful to them all for their support.”

Regularly and strongly supported by the county's business community, the Press Ball is once again sponsored by Ipswich firm Call Connection.

Have you been helped by the Cystic Fibrosis Trust? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to

PRESS ball bosses are today offering the chance for the business community to offer their help to raise cash for the event's chosen charities.

If your business or organisation would like to donate a raffle or auction prize to the prestigious event or book a table please contact Bridget York on 07961 430599.