BUSINESS people from across the town dug deep to bring in more than £30,000 at this year’s Swindon Charity Ball.

The event, organised by the Rotary Club of Swindon, in conjuction with the Swindon Marriott and Swindon Advertiser, was raising money for the Brighter Futures Radiotheraphy Appeal, which aims to bring a radiotherapy unit to the town.

The Bollywood Nights-themed black tie event began with a champagne reception before guests were treated to a gala dinner with a touch of the exotic.

Entertainment was provided by singers and dancers from the Swindon Hindu Temple and Cultural Centre, followed by music from local band 24-7.

Tickets sales, a raffle, two auctions and a diamond draw supported by Deacons of Old Town helped take the fundraising total past last year’s figure of £25,000. The estimated £30,000-£35,000 made on the night will now be matched by Rotary District UK. A final total will be announced at a later date.

Now in its 30th year, the annual fundraiser, which brings businesses from across the town together, has dished out a remarkable £790,000 for more than 50 local charities.

The Adver’s deputy editor, Michelle Tompkins, who is on the organising committee, said: “We are always amazed at the generosity of the people who both support the ball and come along in person, and this year was no exception.

“From the advertisers who bought space in the event programme, to the many local businesses who donated prizes to raffle or auction, from those who paid for tickets to our fantastic sponsors, we are grateful to them all.

“Everyone knows someone who is, or has, had cancer, so the Brighter Futures Radiotherapy Appeal is a charity that Swindon people have taken to their hearts. We hope our efforts will go some way towards bringing this unit to the town sooner rather than later.”

This year, around 175 guests attended the event on Saturday, where they were met by drummers and treated to a four-course dinner.

The compere for the night was Mark Powell, the artistic director of Prime Theatre, which last year received £3,200 from the ball to buy audio equipment to allow deaf people to take part in workshops without having to lip read all the time.

Elderly people suffering from dementia also benefitted from a £1,000 award to the MHA Music Therapy Appeal, which was destined to pay for musical instruments.

Brighter Futures is currently standing at over £2.2m towards the £2.9m target for radiotherapy equipment that will be houses in a new centre at the Great Western Hospital.