Once again NMO’s Belle of the Ball hits golden heights in our fundraising campaign to fight NMOSD. Pictured front and centre, where she has always been as an ambassador of NMO SPECTRUM-UK, Annabelle Moult is pictured alongside Trish Hughes-McCann, Trustee and founder of the charity, and Tony Hughes-McCann, head cook, cleaner and bottle washer – otherwise known as CEO.
As is usual with events such as ours, there are so many people to thank for their kind help and support, all of whom, obviously, contribute to making our special night possible. In most cases there are far too many to mention everyone in person so, on behalf of NMO SPECTRUM-UK, its Trustees and Ambassadors, we would like to thank everyone who donated to the charity raffle and auction.
We would like to extend a special thank you to our Event Sponsor, New Era Cap Company, for all of their help. Events such as ours rely on finding a company kind enough to become main sponsor, so….
When it comes to long term support for our aims and goals, alongside New Era, it would be remiss of us not to mention Mr Andy Martin, Vice President and Managing Director of MIQ Logistics Limited. For the third year running Andy and MIQ sponsored our Golden Ticket with a holiday to the value of £1000. It’s truly hard to put into words just how important the continuity of Andy’s support is to a small charity like ours, and how much it means to us. Once again from the bottom of our hearts…
We must be doing something right as, for the second year running, Darren Bedding, who has now become our resident photographer not only donated his services for the night but chipped in with one of the main auction prizes: a £500 photo shoot with a canvas along with an ongoing offer which will be publicised on our Facebook group NMO SPECTRUM Community in the near future.
It’s not unusual to be thrown a curve ball when organising an event as important as our Summer Ball, but I don’t mind admitting that finding out in the same week as the event that your star performer, Everis, had been taken ill and would be unable to perform, threw me into a slight panic. But I have to say that the replacement Everis found for us was absolutely fantastic, It has to be said that for a performer of his ability to step in at such short notice, and for travel expenses only, was truly amazing. I take my hat off to Mr Weston Foster who, quite literally, had everyone dancing on the floor, at the tables, and in the aisles.
Weston, I think every single person who attended is richer for the experience. Thank you from everyone, and I mean everyone associated with NMO SPECTRUM-UK.
The night itself, just like its organiser, commenced with that touch of class, courtesy of Jane Coulcher, an accomplished Harpist who plucked her way into our hearts during our bubbles reception which carried on through to the main hall. Not the harp, just the bubbles that is! Once we’d all settled in we were again treated to a beautiful meal to the exacting standards of The Oxford Belfry Hotel. Our compliments to the Head Chef and the staff, for whom nothing was too much trouble – with a special thank you to our events manager at the hotel, Tom, who conducted the evening as if it were the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
We didn’t have the luxury of an events management company this year, so all of the décor was down to Trish, Belle, Danny, family and friends, who captured the Golden & Green theme to perfection with balloons, napkins, and green petals strewn across a golden table runner. It really looked perfect.
‘Perfect’, ‘seamless’, are not words we’d use to describe the raffle, as between my Trish and Belle, The Two Ronnesses sprang to mind – but we got there in the end with fits of laughter typical of our big nights.
We were in shock at the auction when ‘The Sixth Beatle’ turned up with a one-off Stratocaster guitar donated by famous Blues singer and Trustee John S Loydon, and sang his way through the auction items.
At this point in proceedings it was becoming obvious that the evening – as if there was any doubt in the first place – was developing into a magnificent team success.
Another member of our team who unfortunately could not be with us, owing to the fact that her husband Fred was receiving radiation boosts, is the artist responsible for this beautiful painting in oils, ‘The Ballerinas’, Maz Cason, herself a sufferer of NMOSD and the inspiration behind The Art of NMO, which can be viewed via the website.
Thank you Maz, we are all thinking of you both at this time.
By the time we reached the final item, the cottage stay in Scotland secured with a winning bid by Gavin Hazeldine who, by the way, went above and beyond the call in his support for our charity, it was success on a plate. All the worries and long hours in the organising disappeared into the box marked, ‘Perfect!’…
One last raffle draw and this was the big one – the MIQ Golden ticket – the winner of which would be hot footing it to a travel agent come Monday, armed with £1000 worth of holiday vouchers. This was the prize that grabbed everyone’s attention including mine, as my dreams of two weeks in Blackpool (not) were only one bit of good luck away.
TO OUR LUCKY WINNER
AMBER LOU BROWN
Once again we managed to put on something special to support the work we do in funding ethical research and supporting initiatives such as NMO on Tour, where our magnificent Advanced Nurse Practitioners and their teams tour the country from Scotland to Southampton with meetings to bring people affected by NMOSD together for advice and support, and to meet others affected by this terrible illness.
We thank you all for all of your help and support in making our evening such a tremendous success and truly hope to see you all again when the time is right.
The last mention, quite rightly, should go to the inspiration of our series of events in Oxfordshire from our Hog Roast at Thame football club, the first major event for our charity, to the Brilliant Halloween Ball and now our Spectacular Golden & Green Summer Ball.
We have to say, as a charity, that to have an ambassador like Annabelle, who raises funds exclusively for NMO SPECTRUM-UK, is like a breath of fresh air. Without the work put in by Belle and our team of Ambassadors we quite simply wouldn’t be able to fund ethical research in the UK, so we add the thanks of the medical and research staff at both Walton and Oxford to ours at NMO SPECTRUM-UK.
NMO SPECTRUM-UK is proud to announce that this fantastic evening raised a grand total of £8,511.
‘Well Done To All!’
Flowers themselves were certainly not enough, but the feeling and admiration for such a powerful young lady with which they were given, will be echoed by anyone who has had the privilege of knowing her.
“THANK YOU SO, SO MUCH BELLE!”
Please follow below link to view our gallery. To obtain your photograph, please contact Darren via email.