Wednesday, 14 October 2015

We had a ball!

The Around The World Ball was held at The Biscuit Factory last Saturday and it can only be described as a huge success for Run Geordie Run, The Children's Foundation and The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

The ball was hosted by BBC Newcastle's Gary Philipson and Lisa Shaw and backed by a team of volunteers from The Children's Foundation. The sell out crowd contained Lady Elsie Robson, Dr Martin Ward-Platt from The Children's Foundation, sponsors, friends, family as well as people I'd never met before. One thing I did notice was that almost everyone I spoke to knew someone from another party who they hadn't seen since school/used to work with/was an old next door neighbour of.... I could go on. It was a most unusual situation with a huge number of people seemingly connected in some way. As I later found out, Dr Martin Ward-Platt was to thank for treatment to one of my support team's family's premature baby.

Gary and Lisa did a brilliant job of hosting the night and they were on very good form. It was great to see them working together again as, of course, they now have their own separate shows on the BBC. The pair's interaction with the guests was hilarious and we all had such a good laugh. You just knew that a bald man would win the posh hairdressing prize!  

The evening was filled with various opportunities to win prizes such as an Apple iPad Air, a Links of London bracelet, a rare bottle of whiskey, various hospitality packages, signed memorabilia and so much more.

The formalities kicked off with a reminder of why we were all there. The following video was shown.

After a hilarious version of Heads and Tails, we tucked into a specially designed 3 course meal with hints of Chinese, French and Turkish cooking. The food was by far the best I've ever had at an event of this size. The feedback we've had since has been in keeping with my thoughts. A huge well done to the Biscuit Factory. I've got to say that this came as no surprise as the Ball Committee were fully aware of what the venue was capable of.

I addressed the audience after dinner and spoke of my motivation for running around the world and what the charities meant to me. This part of the evening also allowed me to say thank you to my support team, sponsors and of course Donna.

Before the auction started, the following video was shown.

Our auction raised a huge amount. There were some tremendous bids for our very impressive line up of goods donated by SOS Group Ltd, Jury's Inn, Virgin Money to name but a few.

The final part of the evening saw local band Tiny Afro take to the stage to entertain the guests with hits from The Jam, Killers, Kings of Leon and many more.

The final total raised on the night was a very pleasing £8,223.17. Thanks to everyone who attended and gave so generously.

The Around The World Ball helped to get the overall Charity Fund very close to the landmark of a quarter of a million pounds. After 11 months of fundraising, the total for the European campaign currently stands at £27,082.49. It took me until day 52 of the run across Australia to hit that figure! Thank you to everyone for their continued support.

We are already looking forward to the next Ball on October 8th 2016 to celebrate reaching Istanbul and the half way point around the world. Watch this space at the end of October for details of how you can buy tickets at a special early bird price.

In the meantime, photos from the Around The World ball can be viewed below.

In aid of The Children's Foundation and The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation at The Biscuit Factory Newcastle,