430 senior members and UK drinks industry personalities enjoyed The Benevolent Ball, the Charity’s annual major fundraiser, held for the first time at The Natural History Museum. The Ball lived up to its reputation as the must attend event of the drinks industry year, raising £50,000 for the charity.
The evening got off to a sparkling start in the Salon des Champagnes generously sponsored by Laurent-Perrier, Louis Roederer, Moët et Chandon and Taittinger Champagne during which guests had the opportunity to network and mingle with fellow members of the trade in the iconic Fossil Way before making their way into the breath-taking Hintze Hall for dinner.
Guests were welcomed by a surprise beneficiary of The Benevolent, Joe Fattorini, who bravely shared his story, explaining to gathered attendees as to how The Benevolent’s mental health Helpline has assisted him, and how he has benefitted from the counselling sessions, all funded by the charity.
The Benevolent’s Chairman, Michael Saunders, then addressed the room with a powerful speech about the vital importance of regular donations to keep the charity’s work going. Saunders took the opportunity to launch the new donors’ campaign of the charity, ‘It Could be Me’. The campaign aims at encouraging the charity’s current supporters to become regular donors of The Benevolent, reminding them that one day they may need the services of the charity.
Saunders then reiterated his appeal to spare a drink a month for The Benevolent. The idea of donating the equivalent of a drink a month to the charity is possible for all. £5 (the cost of a pint) or £10 (the cost of a glass of wine) a month can really make the difference to the lives of colleagues from the industry. To sign up to the monthly donation scheme please click here: https://www.thebenevolent.org.uk/donate
A highlight of the night was the sparkling entertainment provided by the Master of Ceremonies Charles Metcalfe, whose charm and wit were instrumental in the achievement of the fundraising success. Charles’s legendary skilful verbal persuasions led the Power Pledge initiative, allowing The Benevolent to raise over £13,500 in less than 10 mins.
A packed dance floor enjoyed the sounds of SUPERfreak into the early hours, whilst others chatted over a selection of cocktails at the Aperol Spritz and Mayfield Sussex Hop Gin Cocktail Bar and some commemorated the night striking funny poses at the magic selfie mirror.
The Benevolent’s Chief Executive Chris Porter commented: “I am thrilled that our vision to host the Benevolent Ball in a bigger venue to accommodate the greater demand that we knew was there has resulted in such a great evening. I cannot thank all our sponsors and friends in the industry enough who have helped us to achieve this. I am delighted with the amount that we have raised. Please know that every penny will go towards helping those in our drinks industry community who are suffering financial and emotional hardship at this time. A brilliant night where the Trade really has come together to help its own”
Special thanks must be extended to the main sponsors of the evening Diageo GB, IWSC group, JF Hillebrand, Matthew Clark, Mayfield Sussex Hop Gin, Pernod Ricard UK, William Grant & Sons.