Guests are left Spellbound at Willow Foundation ball
PUBLISHED: 11:28 03 December 2011
Casey Gutteridge, CPG Photography
STARS turned out in force for the Willow Foundation's annual ball in London.
Newsreaders Natasha Kaplinsky and Mary Nightingale hosted the evening, attended by, among others, Ian Wright, Carol Kirkwood, Martin Bayfield Mark Hughes, Lee Dixon, Ossie Ardilies, David Seaman. Simon McCoy, Victoria Graham and Hollyoaks star, Lucy Dixon.
The Spellbound Ball, at Westminster Bridge Park Plaza, raised over £280,000.
Charity co-founders Bob Wilson (Arsenal legend and former TV presenter) and his wife Megs set up the charity in memory of their daughter who died of cancer aged just 31.
The Willow Foundation used the opportunity of the ball to publicly mark Bob’s milestone 70th birthday.
He was presented with a cake by Ian Wright.
A charity spokeswoman said: “Bob and Megs spoke about the work of the charity at the magical-themed evening to more than 400 guests and celebrities from the world of sport and entertainment.
“And a moving speech by a widower whose family had been helped by the charity further enabled guests to understand the impact of the charity’s work and gave them a reason to dig deep on the night.”
Former England rugby star Martin Bayfield, played auctioneer raising hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Prizes up for grabs included a Wimbledon Men’s final tickets, VIP tickets for the 2012 British Grand Prix donated by Bernie Ecclestone, a once-in-a-lifetime golfing opportunity playing with Ian Poulter, exotic holidays and fine dining experiences.
To date the Willow Foundation has provided more than 8,500 special days nationwide to people living with cancer, cystic fibrosis, motor neurone disease, muscular dystrophy, organ failure and Huntington’s, amongst other conditions.
We’ll have more pictures and reaction to the ball in the next issue of Times Magazine.