This years event is going to be bigger than ever with the largest number of guests and some top of the line entertainment. But to understand why the Charity Ball exists, we need to look back at where it all started...
Behind the Charity Ball
Established in 2006, the annual Charity Ball is the brain child of Darren and Gail Baker who over the last 10 years have grown the Black Tie event from 260 guests at Hellaby Hall to over 600 at the Magna Centre in 2010 and an incredable 800 in 2011. Since 2012 they raised this number to over 900 guests enjoying a fun filled evening with some fantastic entertainment raising over £45,000 last year for good causes.
The starting point for what has turned into 6 months of dedication each year was following the battle Darren's father, John, had with cancer. Just six weeks after he lost a battle with stomach cancer, Darren's wife Gail threw him a surprise party for his 40th birthday. But rather than bringing gifts she asked guests to make a donation to the charity where John spent his final days. That event raised £1,000 and gave the couple an idea which in eight years would raise more than £350,000, over £40,000 from the 2014 event alone.
After the success of Darren's 40th birthday donation they became determined to raise as much money as possible for the charities, with Weston Park being only one of three dedicated cancer hospitals in the country.
Now into its 9th year, the Charity Ball has raised over £350,000 for two Sheffield charities – over £300,000 for Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity and £40,000 for PACT (Parents Association of Children with Tumours and Leukaemia).
In 2010 the Charity Ball moved to a new location, required due to the number of ticket requests from pervious years. The Ball promised circus performers, stand-up comedy, a silent auction and live music from The Bootleggers. It didn't disappoint and the evening was a huge success.
With Steve Smith, ‘The Rumpole of Rotherham’, once again compering the event, the night was filled with all types of entertainment from the gymnasts at the start of the night through to the final pictures taken by Stancliffe Studios.
Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity recognised Darren and Gail’s work by making the couple charity patrons in 2010. They have also recently opened the first Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity shop in Crookes, Sheffield.