One of the biggest charitable events in the region’s calendar took place at Rudding Park Hotel in Harrogate and early indications show it raised over £270,000 for Barnardo’s.
The Firecracker Ball, which is now in its 16th year supporting Barnardo’s, takes place every November and this year over 800 guests were transported to wonderland.
Barnardo’s vice president and chair of the Firecracker Ball committee, Phil Taylor said: “Every year we begin the planning and think how on earth can we even come close to what we did last year? And every year I wake up the day after and count myself lucky to have such an amazing committee working so very hard to pull it all together and, of course, the astonishing generosity of the people of Yorkshire who come every year and dig so very, very deep for such a wonderful charity.”
Highlights of the ball included a moving speech from Barnardo’s volunteer Sharon, an auction of ‘money can’t buy’ prizes, including lots donated by Sir Richard Branson and James Corden, and a performance from the most successful British soul band of all time, Hot Chocolate.
Christopher Biggins joined the night via video link and thanked everyone for their continuing support and urged them to dig deep when the auction began.
His words had an impact, with the eleven lots publicly auctioned raising virtually over £100,000 in less than half an hour. Since the first Firecracker Ball for Barnardo’s in 2002, the event has now raised over £2.5 million.
Kirsty Guy, Barnardo’s Senior relationship manager, said: “The funds raised by the Firecracker Ball are invaluable in helping various Barnardo’s services across Yorkshire continue to offer vital services and support to vulnerable young people when and where they need it the most.
"None of what we achieve every year would be possible without the help of our sponsors and supporters so we do need to thank the likes of Evans Property Group, Phillip Stoner Jewellers, UBS, Angel Events, Oakapple Group, Team Make Print Work, and Source Marketing Communications amongst others for everything they do for the ball and Barnardo’s.”