Mesmerising masks and eye-catching outfits were the order of the day at a masquerade ball for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).
More than £15,000 was raised as 200 people attended the glitzy event at the Five Lakes Resort, near Colchester in Essex, on Saturday night.
Thomas Skinner, who starred in the 2019 series of The Apprentice, was guest compere and highlights included an auction and raffle, in which the top prize was a holiday to Cape Verde.
The ball was arranged by Vicky Hicks with the help of a few of her friends and had been due to take place last year – only to be postponed because of COVID.
Vicky said: “My target had been to raise £10,000 so I was absolutely thrilled to see the total creep past £15,000.
“It was a brilliant night and everyone had such a lovely time.
“The generosity of small local businesses was amazing and meant we could keep costs down. All our decor was provided by I Do We Do Weddings and Events, our live music was provided by local band KIO and WebPhotoUK were there all night taking professional photos for people to buy.
“In a way, having to postpone things last year made it extra special because this was the first time people had had the chance to get glammed up and wear special clothes. Everyone was in very high spirits.
“Most of the people there were friends and family but I also put a message on social media and a group bought a table after spotting it on Facebook.”
Around £5,000 was raised from corporate fundraising, with Vicky calling on the help of colleagues from BT.
Hundreds paid and signed up to take part in a ten-kilometre walk while another money-spinner proved Vicky’s “auction of promises”.
She said: “Everyone was asked to offer something that could be donated and bought by someone else. For instance, I offered to make someone a lasagne!”
Vicky, who has two young daughters, says she was motivated to help EACH after attending an open day at The Treehouse hospice, in 2019.
“I’m a senior manager at BT,” said the 32-year-old, who lives in Colchester.
“It’s a very demanding job and I wanted to get involved in something that wasn’t work-related, where I could give back in some way.
“So a couple of years ago I went along to an open day at The Treehouse, near where I work in Ipswich.
“I was so moved by what I saw and it was very humbling, which is why I was so motivated to try and do something to help. That’s when this ball became my vision.”
EACH cares for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk.