Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text SWINDON NEWS to 80360 or email us
Charity Ball cash aids community
REVELLERS at this year’s Charity Ball were thrilled as the sell-out event raised more than £18,000 for Swindon charities.
The Vegas-themed bash, organised by the Rotary Club of Swindon, saw the crowd swaying to the sounds of the West End’s Rat Pack band.
A touch of glamour was added by the Sophistication dancers, who greeted the audience with cocktails and huge feathers.
The total announced on the night was £18,682 but that was before a final whip-round.
A confirmed total will be released this week.
This year’s beneficiaries are Swindon Women’s Refuge, Therapeutic Work in Gardening in Swindon (TWIGS), North Wilts Group of the Motor Neurone Disease Association and Swindon Therapy Centre for Multiple Sclerosis.
The allocation of money to the groups will be decided at a meeting tomorrow.
The women’s refuge is in need of a new van as their existing one has been on the road for 20 years. Acting manager Jackie Pennington said: “ It’s been an excellent workhorse, but it is now on its last wheels and needs to be replaced.
“We need the van to take women to their new homes with all their belongings and to collect furniture.”
TWIGS aims to give people with mental health issues the chance to build confidence and self-esteem and learn new skills. Funds are needed for equipment at the Olive Tree Cafe, in Cheney Manor, which helps people recovering from mental health issues gain employment.
The North Wilts Group of the Motor Neurone Disease Association requires a specialised motorised wheelchair.
Treasurer Michael Arm-strong said: “The purchase will make a significant difference to the lives of people with motor neurone disease in the Swindon area, their families and friends.”
The Swindon Therapy Centre for Multiple Sclerosis was founded in 1981, initially as a self-help group, but has grown into an established charity.
In 2008, the centre started treating strokes, Parkinson’s disease, and children with cerebral palsy, autism and brain injuries.
The charity needs funds for a VibroGym, which can improve blood circulation, mobility, bone density and quality of life.
The highlight of the ball, which took place at the Marriott Hotel on May 19, was the Rat Pack, a tribute act to Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jnr and Dean Martin.
Tim Hanley, Rotary chairman, said: “The night went really well, the Rat Pack band from the West End were the highlight.
“They were absolutely fantastic.
“As well as the amount we raised, we also have £4,000 in reserves from previous years so that is excellent given the current financial climate.
“Everyone dug deep and made it a success.”