By Karishma Booluck
Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice annual event, was a fundraising triumph in hosting the Snowman Spectacular Ball on Saturday 3rd December, raising a record-breaking total of £532,314 on the night.
The glittering ball was held at the Hilton Brighton Metropole, with 540 guests enjoying an enchanting evening hosted by broadcaster and ‘Voice of Sussex’, Danny Pike. The magical winter wonderland theme was inspired by the children’s author and the charity’s patron, Raymond Briggs’ iconic story The Snowman.
The evening’s musical entertainment was provided by contemporary jazz vocalist Julia Birkinshaw, gospel choir the Armonia Singers and Candy Apple Blue. There was also a surprise performance by the Incognito Artists, who here disguised as guests during the evening, and spontaneously burst into a medley of musical hits from the West End, rousing the guests to their feet.
Celebrities attending the event included Benidorm actress and hospice patron Julie Graham, footballers Kerry Mayo and Paul Jones, whom are also patrons of the hospice, Big Brother winner Jason Burrill, Brighton broadcaster Marcella Whittingdale and Gogglebox stars Stephen Webb and Chris Steed.
A moving speech was made by Victoria Ramm, who sadly lost two babies three years apart, bravely took to the stage to speak about the astounding support and care she and her family received from the hospice. Visibly moved by her story, Ramm’s touching speech received a standing ovation from the crowd. Following this, the evening held an auction with incredible lots including an all-inclusive Caribbean island holiday, an opportunity to be a character in Brighton crime author Peter James’ new book, a signed Lionel Messi shirt and a Swiss Alps get away.
Business leaders were encouraged to join the ‘Pay for a Day’ and ‘Pay for an Hour’ scheme at the hospice, to provide care not only to Chestnut Tree but also for the local community. The pledge guaranteed to fund 61 days and 132 hours of the hospice care. The Chestnut Tree hospice also received over 600 mystery gifts all wrapped by volunteers.