Over 150 guests attended the biennial Taylor-Made Dreams (TMD) Dragonfly Ball at Salomons Estate on Friday November 24 helping to raise an incredible £65,000 for the charity who support children with life-limiting illness. The event, which was sponsored by Easyfairs, TWC Financial and Ven Morgan Interiors, is one of the biggest fundraisers this year for the charity.
The theme of the ball was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and, as with their previous Alice in Wonderland event in 2021, the décor did not disappoint. With the help of Ven Morgan Interiors and Sail & Peg Events, Salomons was transformed into the Wonka factory complete with golden tickets, inflatable lollipops, candy cane trees, jars of sweets and swirling psychedelic colours.
As guests took their seats, Willy Wonka (played by the Speaking Mentor, Chris Murphy) and his team of Oompa Loompas (dancers from Do4Kidz Danceworks), handed each guest their own ‘Dragonfly’ chocolate bar with five lucky guests finding a golden ticket and winning bottles of Moet Chandon champagne.
‘Arthur Slugworth’, the baddie from the classic tale, portrayed by Charity Ambassador Neil Long, compered the evening and kicked off proceedings with a warm welcome to the guests before introducing Comedian Tim Vine, who interacted with members of the audience, to much hilarity.
Guests were treated to three courses from the catering team at Salomons before hearing more about the charity from BBC interviewer Claudia Sermbezis, who spoke with TMD Founder and CEO Suzi Mitchell and interviewed Chris and Faye Brown, TMD parents whose son Will had been supported by the charity in the last year of his short life, ending with the entire room giving them a standing ovation.
The charity auction followed next, with Tim Vine doing a brilliant job in encouraging the room to dig deep and bid for lots which included lunch with the charity’s Patron John Bishop, a weekend on a superyacht, ski holidays to The Alps, tickets to Jools Holland and Paul Weller music concerts, diamond earrings from De Beers, and even a four-ball golf day with Suzi and the TMD team as personal caddies.
Suzi Mitchell, CEO of Taylor-Made Dreams, said: “What an incredible evening, we are beyond grateful to our amazing sponsors, the events team and our wonderful guests for making it such a successful fundraiser. We have seen an increase in demand for our services, as so many families living with a very poorly child are impacted by the cost of living crisis and are struggling financially.”
She added: “Events like the Dragonfly Ball ensure we can be there for all the children and families referred to us in Kent, Sussex, Surrey, and Essex, when time is all too short. Thank you to all our supporters in the community, we simply couldn’t do what we do without them.”
To find out more visit www.taylormadedreams.org.uk