Saturday 10th March saw Dingley’s Promise bringing a flavour of Rio to Reading with our Rio Carnival Fiesta. Raising £11,000 towards the work of the Charity, the event exceeded expectations and was a great success.
Held at the Hilton Hotel on Drake Way, guests were greeted by the spectacular Samba Dancers, Patsy and Chris before heading on inside for a glass of bubbly and canapes. Whilst having a professional photo by 360 Studio and mingling in the drinks reception, guests were left pondering the sudden noise that came from the Hotel reception. Appearing on the red carpet, was Beatroots Bateria with 23 drummers, providing a sensory overload of Samba fun and entertainment. Led by Gavin Lombos, Creative Director, the Band made their way through into the main room and up onto the stage, followed by the enchanting Samba Dancers. Wide eyed with surprise, guests gathered to watch their performance with admiration, with some guests even joining in!
Catherine McLeod MBE opened the evening by introducing the Charity, recognising our 35th birthday and our achievements as a leader of inclusion for children with SEND in the early years. We were joined once again by Ady Williams of BBC Berkshire, who successfully compered the evening, hosting the Heads and Tails game with the winner taking away an overnight stay at the Hilton Hotel. Guests enjoyed a three course Brazilian inspired menu, whilst considering their bids on a variety of incredible silent auction prizes.
After main course, Group Operations Manager, Aimee Knight and Chair of Trustee’s, Dave Ormrod handed out Awards to those supporters who have been instrumental in the last year to our work. First up was Osborne Clark, winning Corporate Supporter. Having supported Dingley’s Promise for the last six years and donated over £35,000, it was a great honour to present them with their award. Next was the award for Community Supporter, handed to BNI Bourne – Newbury for their incredible commitment and support. From committing to undertake Velocity Zip line in Wales, offering their time to support us and connecting us with invaluable contacts, we are proud to have BNI Bourne – Newbury win this award. The Individual Supporter award went to Yvonne Bates, who has quietly undertaken many fundraising efforts over the last couple of years, donating funds without wishing for recognition. Unfortunately, Yvonne could not be with us to collect her award, but she will receive this shortly.
This year, our Impact Award was presented to Valspar Paint for all their hard work and dedication to our Reading Centre with a full internal redecoration late last year. We were honoured that they could join us to collect their award and celebrate the evening with us. The next award, came as somewhat of a surprise to the winner, Louise Farmer for her 10 years Service to Dingley’s Promise. Working her way up from an Early Years’ Practitioner, Louise has shown dedication and commitment to the charity and was presented with her award and token of our appreciation of her efforts. Lastly, but not least, we presented certificates and new Dingley Bear Pin Badges to all those hard working Volunteers who have been with Dingley’s Promise for longer than 2 years. In some cases this has been 14 years! We also recognised those loyal supporters who are a Friend of Dingley’s Promise by donating regularly.
The Main Auction raised a super £3,840 towards the total and we give thanks to Porsche for donating one of the top performing prizes, a Porsche Driving Experience and lunch for two at Silverstone. The winning raffle tickets were drawn by our Patrons, Chris and Naomi Khoo, with the top prize of a family ticket to Buckingham Palace and overnight stay at a 3* hotel in London. The silent auction raised a super £1,630 with the top sought after prize being Ascot Racecourse Tickets and a bottle of bubbly.
The evening ended up with guests getting to their feet for the disco provided by The Soundsmobile Roadshow, with many staying there until the end of the evening at 1am!
We wish to thank our main sponsors of the evening, Sire Technology, Balcroft Consulting Ltd, Dynamiq Managment Ltd and The Castle Inn who joined us to celebrate our work over the last year. We are also extremely grateful to all those who donated prizes for the Main Auction, Silent Auction and Raffle. We recognise that this support has enabled us to put on a fantastic event and contributed to us achieving our fantastic fundraising result.
Watch out for upcoming news on next years Ball and hope you can join us!