A charity that helps to raise funds to support the work of the East Sussex Association of Blind and Partially Sighted People (ESAB) is more than £7,000 better off following a successful gala dinner held at the PowderMills Hotel.
The Friends of ESAB organised the black tie dinner which was hosted by its patron, the Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex Peter Field, and attended by the High Sheriff of East Sussex, Major General John Moore-Bick, and a large number of guests and supporters.
A sizeable chunk of the money raised came from the proceeds of an auction of goods and promises conducted by Ian Fletcher-Price. A framed Brighton & Hove Albion football shirt, signed by the full squad of players sold for £375; a handmade silk tactile quilt fetched £200 and a five-course dinner for eight people, prepared and served by Friends of ESAB chairman Shirley Price, went for £325.
Nine other lots, which included VIP tickets to the Eastbourne International Tennis Tournament; two tickets for Glyndebourne along with a hamper by Champagne and Caviar; a doll’s house hand-made by ESAB’s chief executive Daniel Brookbank; and meals at The Lamb, Wartling, the Black Duck, Warbleton, and the PowderMills Hotel – the latter including being transported to and from the hotel in a 1930s Phantom Rolls Royce driven by John Arthy – helped to boost the total raised by the auction to more than £3,000.
During the evening, Daniel Brookbank revealed that the Friends of ESAB had raised more than £122,000 since its formation in 2011 and had contributed significantly to the £350,000 a year that it costs to run the support services provided by ESAB.
He said: “We work to enrich lives and to provide opportunities that would not be available without us. Our social groups facilitate a vital social interaction for members who would otherwise be isolated in their own homes. I would like to extend my thanks to all of you who have attended this wonderful gala dinner.
“Your contribution helps us to do our work. Thank you to all of our sponsors and to those of you who have given so generously.
“Every penny from this evening will be spent on making the lives of blind and partially sighted people richer, more independent, less isolated and more inclusive.”