Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Gala night raises £40,000 for charity

Gala night raises £40,000 for charity

ABOUT £40,000 was raised at a charity gala dinner in Henley on Saturday. 

The event took place at Phyllis Court Club to raise money for Breast Cancer Now and CoppaFeel!, a charity which raises awareness, and donations are still being counted. 

The “black and white tie” dinner was organised by Emily Burkitt, 37, who has been diagnosed with incurable breast cancer.

About 200 people, including friends and family, attended and enjoyed a Pimm’s reception followed by a three-course meal and dancing. 

The evening was hosted by comedian Amanda (Maddi) Sharkey with auctioneers, BBC journalist Sophie van Brugen and BBC Radio Berkshire presenter Andrew Peach. 

There was also live music and a raffle.

Before the meal, Mrs Burkitt gave a speech. 

She said: “We are all here tonight so that one day we can call the world cancer free. It’s interesting, when someone tries to put a deadline on your life it makes you reflect on it, what I have done to add value, how much effort I have put in to improve other people’s lives and what impact I have made during my time on earth. That’s why we have arrived here, with me stood nervously in front of you. 

“I have never had a better opportunity to make use of a bad situation — sharing my story with the community will help raise money to support research that could save lives, that still has the potential to save mine!”

Her husband James, 38, said: “I had a really good dance with Emily. The Loops played Live Forever by Oasis. That was probably the highlight of my evening. We had a really nice moment then.

“The Sunday after the event she was on such a high. She was really still quite excited from it. I’ve had loads of emails from people saying they enjoyed the evening.

“Her speech was incredible. It was quite incredible that she held it together. She was just taken aback by the reception. She was quite humbled that so many people wanted to come out and support her.”

• Pictures from the event will be published in next week’s Henley Standard.

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