Charity Ball 2011
Our Grand fundraising ball finally came to fruition on the 23rd September. After 9 months in the making the evening went spectacularly well. The stunning setting of Easterbrook Hall provided the glamorous backdrop and 340 of the great and good of Dumfries turned out in their finery to support Sands.
The staff at Easterbrook worked hard all day to ensure the hall was ready and looking magnificent for the evening ahead. Callum Watson, ex pipe major of Dumfries Constabulary piped the guests in on arrival to receive their complementary glass of fizz.
Alison Hall, chair Dumfries Sands welcomed everyone and starting the evening with a hard hitting slide show called “Blissfully Unaware” describing the pain of losing your much wanted baby and of the work Sands do to provide support. Accompanied by a haunting version of “Somewhere over the Rainbow” sung by Emily Hall aged 20. Catriona Thomson midwife supervisor gave a short presentation on how stillbirth can affect midwives, and of the valuable working relationship they have with Sands
We were very fortunate in having the compering skills of auctioneer and Westsound DJ, Tommy Jardine to pick things up after the slide show and get the fundraising off to a flier. Firstly a cheque for £500 was presented from Joanna Wright raised after completing the Ladies 10k race in Glasgow. We then had a fantastic range of items to bid for donated by local businesses and friends ranging from artwork to a tour of Westminster with lunch. In addition there was a silent auction and a raffle to help raise vital funds before guests relaxed into the evening with a beautiful meal, and dancing to the sounds of “Not Guilty”.
We were very fortunate to have the help and support of events organiser Jenna Laidlaw from “Perfections” and local photographer Ewan Cannon. Jenna and Ewan gave up their precious spare time to offer advice and help out with the organisation of the whole event. They were a source of inspiration and encouragement to us throughout. Mark Jardine from “The people’s project” in Dumfries also gave a very kind donation which covered the cost of the band
There were also Calendars for sale made up from hand drawn pictures drawn by siblings who have lost a brother or sister to stillbirth and neonatal death in memory of their baby at £5 each. These are still available to buy.
The grand total on the night from all of the above was £11,800. A phenomenal amount for our first big fundraiser. We plan to refurbish the current room in Cresswell used for parents following the death of their baby. To make it a more tranquil, peaceful room where they can spend precious time with their baby away from everyday goings on. We want to provide soft furnishings, nice towels and luxury toiletry items to try to make their time that little bit more comfortable.
We have also been in talks with Cresswell to offer to fund bereavement training for a specialist midwife to lead on bereavement care for parents. Ensuring all policies and procedures are in place.
We would like to thank all of you, who bought a ticket and came along on the night to support our cause, we are truly grateful to everyone involved.