£20,000 raised at ball

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The 2011 Summer Marquee Ball has been hailed as a resounding success for another year. More than £20,000 was rasied at last Saturday’s event, according to ball organisers, meaning that since the ball started in 1999, it has raised over a quarter of a million pounds for local charities.

The final figure reached this year will be announced soon once all Summer Ball business has been concluded.

The sun shone on the banks of the Dee last week when more than 350 guests were greeted by local piper Justin Knowles, of Glassel, at the Banchory Lodge Hotel.

After sipping arrival drinks, the guests were lead into a gold and black-themed marquee for the now annual event - this year in aid of Homestart Deeside.

Top prize in this year’s grand raffle - a weekend in Paris, sponsored by The North Banchory Company - was won by Jamie Coutts, of Aboyne. The second prize - an overnight stay and champagne dinner at the Marcliffe Hotel & Spa was won by Debbie Dykes and the third prize, a £25 portrait voucher at Deeside Photographics, was won by Audra McKaskill - all from the Banchory area.

Tensions were high during this year’s fine auction, with guests battling it out for some amazing items.

Raemoir House Hotel, gave a donation of dinner for ten on top of Hill o’ Fare, which fetched £3,000 in the auction. The Malcolm Appleby crystal textured silver bangle went for an amazing £900. The in-house table quiz was won by Aberdein Considine & Co.

Banchory Academy pupil Cameron Knott was delighted to hear his donated artwork ‘The Huddle’ sold to a local guest for £500.

Local fishing, cookery lessons, golf and other artworks brought in £11,500 in the auction. The LFS Scotland-sponsored Old Trafford hospitality package for the Manchester Utd v Arsenal match in August went for £2,000.

This year’s Summer Ball programme, co-ordinated by Gill Keith and Pat Green, raised over £3,000 for the charity.

Ball oranisers Logan Sangster and Dawn Law said: “For some reason, this year’s ball went exceptionally well, like clockwork in fact.

“We would like to thank one and all, as this event would not be possible if we did not receive the help of local individuals and businesses who continue to support our event and the Homestart Deeside team who worked tirelessly for the ball.

“We are amazed each year that the donators list just grows and grows and we are extremely grateful to them all. Also, our ball guests are always eager to lend support on the night.”

Next years Summer Ball will be the 15th, but the planners are thrilled that they have already managed to reach the £250K mark and look forward to planning next year’s event in the months to come.

❑ See next week’s Piper for more Summer Ball photos and a list of donators.