Saturday 24th November was a very special evening in the Get A-Head calendar – it was the evening of our 25th Anniversary Ball and we raised a fantastic £65,000 on the night.
After welcome drinks, guests were shown through to the spectacular Monarch Suite, dressed in all its glory, with beautifully laid out tables, silver and pink covered chairs and gorgeous centre pieces supplied by Covered in Love of Solihull and a back drop with a sparkly mirror balls superbly organised by Lemon Zest Events.
A short film was played that showed our highlights over the past 25 years:
The evening was jam-packed full of entertainment, and was expertly compered again by the wonderful Ben Hanlin, who also captivated the crowd with his magic tricks.
During dinner, guests were entertained and captivated by the wonderful singing sensation, Gruffyd Wynn – a talented classical cross over artist who hails from the Isle of Anglesey and was a finalist in Britain’s Got Talent 2018.
Tom Bromwich, chairman of Get A-Head, thanked all who had attended and all those that played a part in the evening during his speech. He said: “In the VT you saw John promise that he would not let anyone down. I also promise that as a charity we will not let you down.”
He went on to say: “The move to Solihull has been fantastic and we are now fully integrated with the local community and our presence is going from strength to strength.
“It is a fantastic achievement that we have reached 25 years but we have much to do and I look forward to helping to grow the charity over the coming years.”
Dr Hilary hosted our very own ‘This Is Your Life with Get A-Head’ for John Watkinson, who co-founded the charity back in 1994. It paid tribute to John’s work with video messages from friends, patients and family.
This then led us into our main auction, fantastically undertaken by James Hawkesford of Hawkesford Auctioneers with tickets to see Cher perform in New York and the opportunity to meet the star herself, kindly donated by Cher.
Other exceptional prizes included a Triumph Street Cup Motorbike donated by Triumph Motorcycles and an Urban City e-bike donated by Paul Staniforth of Electric Bike Corporation, as well as a host of other fabulous prizes.
We also had lots more fundraising going on during the evening in the form of ‘Play Your Cards Right’, a raffle, silent auction all with fantastic prizes and a special silver envelope draw with a £1,000 John Lewis Voucher up for grabs.
Jon Culshaw, the award-winning impressionist was our headliner and entertained our guests with his vast array of voices.
After the fundraising and auctions, the evening ended on a real high note with live music and an electrifying performance from the Rick Parfitt Junior band. The dance floor certainly got put through its paces as the crowd were pulling out all the moves and enjoying the electric atmosphere!
Louise John, charity manager, said “The evening exceeded all of our expectations, the atmosphere was amazing. The room looked absolutely stunning and sparkled all night long.
“Our host Ben Hanlin was superb, Gruff’s set was perfect, Jon Culshaw impressed with his many impressions, the main auction raised a whopping £40,000 and the return of RPJ had our guests just a tad excited.
“The highlight for me was seeing co-founder, John Watkinson, receiving a special ‘This Is Your Life’ tribute for his 25 years with Get A-Head. It was so well deserved, you could have heard a pin drop while this took place, which showed huge respect for John.
“Thank you to everyone who attended, supported, donated and volunteered to make this night such a huge success, it was a perfect tribute to 25 years of Get A-Head.”