St George’s Day lunch raises £40,000 for Pickering cancer charity
by Andy Tong | 15th May 2019
THE St George’s Day lunch at The Spa Hotel has raised more than £40,000 for the Pickering Cancer Drop-in Centre in Tunbridge Wells.
A record number of 180 guests attended the annual function, hosted by a group of ten influential men from the town known as The Exiles.
Polly Taylor is co-founder of Pickering, which offers emotional support to people who have cancer and their families, alongside a range of complementary therapies.
She said: “The Exiles have been supporting Pickering for six years and they are my boys – they are absolutely amazing.
“This year’s lunch was phenomenal. We couldn’t believe the atmosphere, the auction prizes, the incredible amounts of money that were coming in – it was so generous.”
Among those donating auction prizes was local restaurateur Matthew Sankey, who pledged to cook a paella lunch for 30 people. He saw that sell for £1,500 – and then committed to making three such feasts.
Harry Collins, of prestigious town jewellers G Collins & Sons, donated leather passport holders for the table raffles which raised £2,400.
And former professional golfers Jamie Spence and Paul Way both offered themselves up for auction to take part in The Pantiles Rotary’s annual golf day.
Brothers Robbie and David Sloane cooked up a pork pie for a guess-the-weight contest, which raised more than £900.
The winner then donated it back to the auction and the savoury treat was presented to Polly Taylor as a gift.
During the lunch, Dan and Deborah McDowell, who run Care at Home Services South East Ltd, pledged to add 25 per cent to the running total on the day.
And Sam Stillman, of Stillmans car dealership in Hildenborough, is teaming up with Motorline in Paddock Wood to auction a car in the summer, which could push the final figure raised over the £50,000 mark.