The 3rd Kindled Spirit Charity Dinner took place on 22nd June at Stratford Manor Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon. Nearly 200 guests were able to enjoy their reception drinks and Indian canapés on the terrace accompanied by the beautiful sound of Sitar music, played by Neil Donoghue, who also played at the inaugural dinner in 2014.
The formal part of the evening was introduced by Pritpal Gill (Trustee) and Richard Cribb (Managing Trustee) who explained the outline of the evening. The main address was given by Bharathy Tahiliani – Founder of Kshamata - the Indian based NGO supported by Kindled Spirit. Bharathy explained the work carried out by her team in Mumbai, a support model that is now being emulated by other NGOs in India. Richard then gave an update on the work of Kindled Spirit including a review of the past 12 months and the success of the Diwali awareness campaign which commenced with a 30 minute interview on BBC Asian Network.
Then onto the fun where the guests were invited to play the fundraising game True or False hosted by Martyn Ball (Trustee). The eventual winner was Millie who won a pamper session for herself and a friend.
Richard then introduced a video message by international best selling author Corban Addison who encouraged the audience to ‘dig deep’ and contribute well to the cause. The guests then enjoyed a wonderful Indian dinner from the award winning Itihaas restaurant from Birmingham with light jazz music being played live in the room by Neil and Les Hayden. When dinner was finished more fundraising activities took place. This year the Live Auction really took off - hosted by one of our supporters, Steve Samways and also Milan Zarac (Trustee).
Prizes were generously donated by local and national companies including: a framed Floyd Mayweather Boxing Glove, dinner and an overnight stay at a Gordon Ramsay hotel, a Beatles gold disc, and a football shirt signed by Steven Gerrard. The bidding for some items got very competitive and with the help of Steve’s quick fire wit, a large sum was raised at the same time as entertaining the whole room. Many people walked away with wide smiles and great prizes, in the knowledge they had contributed to a good cause.
The Grand Raffle Draw was made and the evening quickly drew to a close.
Ian Hanham (Trustee) said, “another great night, the audience learned of the horrors of trafficking, especially of young people but at the same time we were able to have fun. Steve and Milan’s banter is legendary, it is great to be able to announced that we raised in excess of £15,000 on the night, with the figure expected to climb as more donations come in”.
Carole Chick (Charity Secretary) added, “we have raised the bar once more, it is hard to know how we beat that, the buzz in the room during the auction was great.”
The evening ended with a few quiet drinks in the bar.