Signal’s Grants Fundraiser, Neil Davda, reports on a magical garden party…
Last month saw the sixth and final annual garden party at Dovecote Grange, Bratton – home to the Riley family. Over the years they have supported some truly great charities and luckily for us this year they chose to raise money in aid of Signal.
The event was a huge success, which justified Mr Riley’s insistence that I be the man to climb a tree and secure cables for the lighting in the marquee. Although, I’m not sure it justified the post-party state of their lawn to his wife! In truth, though, my contribution paled in comparison to the amount of effort the whole Riley family put into organising this event.
Upon arrival guests were met with a complimentary cocktail from the bar and during the day they enjoyed freshly cooked pizza and Indian food. The early entertainment took the form of a sleight of hand magician, while there was also a bouncy castle for the children.
As the photo shows, magician Phil Taylor had spectators baffled as he changed the writing on his marker pen to reveal the playing card they had chosen from his deck – quite a feat when it happens right under your nose! He also read the palm of our Fundraising Manager Susan. Apparently, she has old hands, meaning she has a job to do before she can leave this world – how curious…
Next up was the centrepiece of the evening, the grand auction. With bids coming in from all angles it’s chaos and I can’t say I envy the auctioneer. The Rileys have always been able to rely on family, friends and the local people in general to support them in their charitable efforts. It’s one of the main reasons they have been so successful – and the auction is a prime example. The family is consistently overwhelmed by the number of lots donated and simply wouldn’t raise so much money without the continued support of local businesses.
Following on from the auction, the band, Paul Parker and All the Right Friends, took to the stage. The music was a huge hit, with people dancing into the small hours (some better than others) – exactly how you would want the evening to end.
Despite the afternoon being a little overcast, once the party was in full swing it didn’t make the slightest difference. We were blown away by the generosity of the people who attended and I am very happy to announce that the garden party raised a total of £14,368.22!
This money will support our work to build deaf friendly communities in and around Shropshire and across four countries in Africa. Such an incredible sum will help make a profound difference to the lives of people who are isolated or discriminated against because of their deafness or hearing loss. So I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who played a part, not least those who helped out with sponsorship of the bar, stage and food!
If you too feel inspired to host an event in aid of Signal’s work, please do get in touch via the Contact Signal page. The support and encouragement of our local communities, whichever form this may take, really is invaluable. Thank you!