Esplanade and Foresters Hall Charity Gala Dinner raises £30,000 for three Island Charities

Published 08/10/2022

Saturday night saw Esplanade transform its car showroom into a spectacular event venue where the Esplanade & Foresters Hall Charity Gala Dinner was hosted.

With 120 guests all dressed in black tie the evening was filled with fun, fantastic food, drinks and mostly importantly raised an amazing £30,000 which will be divided equally between Kissy Puppy, UKSA and IW Sports Foundation.

After guests had arrived and had a welcome glass of bubbly, they were ushered to their seats where Esplanade Sales Director, David Weston welcomed everyone. Then the service of a wonderful 3-course meal cooked by Robert Thompson Chef Patron of Foresters Hall (formerly North House) began.

In between courses everyone took the time to listen to presentations from representatives from each of the three charities. Firstly, Gemma Blamire spoke about the work Kissy Puppy, The Sophie Rolf Fund does in her daughters’ memory to improve care for other children with cancer on the Island. Next Claire Beasley spoke about the important role the Isle of Wight Sports Foundation plays in supporting local teams and individuals in their sporting pursuits. Finally, Ben Willows, CEO of UKSA, spoke about how the Year 6 Test the Water Sailing programme which gives all 10-year-old children on the island the chance to try sailing for a day is such an important opportunity for children to have.

The event was extremely well supported by Isle of Wight businesses with many generous donations of raffle prizes and auction lots. The auction was held by world renown auctioneer Nick Bonham and his experience soon whipped the crowd into a bidding frenzy with bids reaching £200 for a bouquet of flowers donated by Bay Tree Florist, £1,200 for a VIP Weekend at Tapnell Farm and £700 for a 9-course tasting menu at Foresters Hall. The final lot was a ‘Meal for 8 cooked in your home by Robert Thompson’, Nick Bonham worked the room and the outcome resulted in a standing ovation when Robert generously agreed to sell this lot to the two  highest bidders at £6,500 each.

UKSA would like to extend a huge thank you to Esplanade and to all the Isle of Wight businesses and guests who contributed to the auction’s tremendous success.

Year 6 Test the Water sailing programme for all Isle of Wight Year 6 children