A night to remember as thousands of pounds is raised for charity at the Guineas Ball

It was a fantastic night to remember for those who attended a fundraising ball in Newmarket.

For thousands of pounds looks to have been raised for three local charities including the My WiSH Charity’s Every Heart matters appeal from the event held at the National Stud, next to the July Racecourse, in Newmarket.

Attending the glittering black tie Guineas Ball were some top celebrities from a variety of sports and also those from television shows and 38 tables have already been reserved for next year if organisers carry on with the event.

Organisers Julie Thompson and Emma Kaye said the ball was a huge success but they will not know the final total raised until the end of May.

There were celebrities from the ITV soap Coronation Street and reality E4 TV show Made in Chelsea along with sportsmen Johnny Bairstow, the England and Yorkshire wicket keeper, Chris Silverwood the England bowling coach, rugby star Ben Cohen, jockey Frankie Dettori, who is also an ambassador for the Every Heart Matters appeal, and Khristina Rhianoff from Strictly Come Dancing.

International horseracing broadcaster Derek Thompson, Julie’s husband, carried out a charity auction which added to the fundraising.

Julie said: “We will not know the amounts raised until the last week of May as we have to audit and pay out. But already 38 people have reserved tables for next year if we decide to do it again and we only have 40 available.

“None of this would have been possible without the site donated by the National Stud and our event team Highfield. The catering was outstanding and flawless from Crown Catering, Cambridge, so was the auction prizes from our fantastic donators and most of all the people who bought the tickets, thank you so much to everyone.”

The money raised will go towards the appeal which is aiming to raise £500,000 to help create a new cardiac unit at the West Suffolk Hospital, in Bury St Edmunds, along with the Injured Jockeys Fund’s Sir Peter O’Sullevan Rehabilitation Centre project and St Nicholas Hospice Care.

One of the season’s social highlights until 2010 the Guineas Ball raised more than £600,000 for charities in the region before taking a break.

And explaining its return Julie and Emma said: “We did 12 years of the Guineas Ball and raised significant amounts for charities, most notably being able to fund an emergency vehicle equipped to deal with accidents on the gallops and at the races.

“After such a great effort by everyone we felt the time was right to give the sponsors a break but we have been inundated with requests to revive the ball and had so many pledges of support from friends both in and outside racing that we look guaranteed to be able to come back with a bang.”

Sue Smith fundraising manager for My WiSh Charity said: “We were absolutely delighted to have been chosen as one of the charities to benefit. Julie and the team worked so incredibly hard to put on this amazing event and it was flawless. It is going to take us one step closer to our target of being able to enhance cardiac care for patients in west Suffolk.”

The West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is investing £5.2m in developing a state of the art cardiac suite that will provide quicker access to more treatments, but the £500,000 My WiSH Charity is hoping to raise will lead to the whole unit, which is currently fragmented on different floors, being brought together in one purpose-built centre.

If you want to support the Every Heart Matters appeal go to the website www.mywishcharity.co.uk and if you would like to donate to the appeal you can do so by going to: Justgiving.com/ehma or text EHMA17 £10 to 70070.


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