Grand Pier event raises £264k for charities across the region

PUBLISHED: 13:00 22 December 2018

Kerry Michael and Theo Paphitis with Gracie who underwent life-changing surgery funded by AMCT.	Picture: The Grand Pier

Kerry Michael and Theo Paphitis with Gracie who underwent life-changing surgery funded by AMCT. Picture: The Grand Pier

Archant

Weston’s Grand Pier has hosted an eighth bi-annual memorial ball which has raised £264,000 for charities.

Theo Paphitis and Brian Conley at the AMCTs Memorial Ball.	Picture: The Grand PierTheo Paphitis and Brian Conley at the AMCTs Memorial Ball. Picture: The Grand Pier

The ball was held by the Axentis Michael Charitable Trust which took place this month.

Retail entrepreneur Theo Paphitis, who also starred in the BBC 2 television series Dragon’s Den, was one of the many celebrities who attended the event as well as British clothes designer Jeff Banks.

Others on the guest list included television presenter Quentin Wilson, entertainer Brian Conley and ex-Formula One racing driver Mark Blundell.

The event was due to take place in March but was postponed due to heavy snowfall earlier in the year.

Brian Conley at the Axentis Michael Charitable Trusts Memorial Ball.	Picture: The Grand PierBrian Conley at the Axentis Michael Charitable Trusts Memorial Ball. Picture: The Grand Pier

In December 2016 the ball raised £252,000 – and the charity has since given more than £1.5million to charitable causes in the area since 2004.

The trust was set up to remember the life of former Weston hotelier Axentis Michael, who died in 2003.

The Michael family said: “This event is the highlight of the social calendar and we are very grateful to everyone involved with us who gives so much to help us to give support to our community.”

The trust has recently helped pay for a specialised, all-terrain wheelchair for seven-year-old Phoebe Small from Weston who has a learning disability known as global development delay.

Kerry Michael and Theo Paphitis with Gracie who underwent life-changing surgery funded by AMCT.	Picture: The Grand PierKerry Michael and Theo Paphitis with Gracie who underwent life-changing surgery funded by AMCT. Picture: The Grand Pier

A Sorrento Chair has also been gifted by the trust to Weston Hospicecare, which helps to provide comfort and aid a person’s posture.

The family added: “It is so rewarding and satisfying to be able to assist in the provision of specialist equipment and to fund other projects which can make such a significant difference to the quality of life for those in the community.

“A record amount raised at our latest ball means we will be able to help many more deserving people in the months and years to come.”

A charity auction on the night raised the funds and an array of experiences were sold, including VIP tickets to see world boxing heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, a trip to watch the Men’s semi-finals at Wimbledon as well as lunch cooked by world-renowned chef Michelle Roux Jr.

A silent auction and donations gifted by guests also contributed to the final amount raised.

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