8th Dec 2014
Rounding off a year of anniversary celebrations, hundreds of glittering guests have descended upon the East Wintergardens in Canary Wharf for the London’s Air Ambulance Silver Gala — "The crowning event in the charity’s fundraising calendar" said Chief Executive Graham Hodgkin (right).
The event catered for 250 guests made up of business chiefs and high society keen to show their support to London’s Air Ambulance, the charity that delivers an advanced trauma team to critically injured patients in London.
They were treated to a drinks reception on arrival followed by a lavish three-course meal. Charity patron Dr Hilary Jones lead the 25th Anniversary honours while event host, stand-up comedian and Mock The Week regular, Andy Parsons entertained guests throughout the night with his brand of witty and light-hearted humour (pictured left).
Sotheby’s auctioneer Richard Fattorini, gripped bidders with an array of lots swiftly sold under his hammer and for the more reserved bidder, there were plenty of other desirable lots available for a generous price in the BidTech Silent Auction.
Be a character in a Bond novel
The lot which generated the greatest interest however, provoking a furious bidding war on the night, was the one kindly donated by author, Anthony Horowitz OBE — a once in a lifetime opportunity to be written as a named character in his forthcoming James Bond novel expected to be released in September 2015.
Mr Horowitz said: “Some writers might simply mention the name of the successful bidder but I intend on doing something rather more. The bidder will appear both by name and by physical characteristics. Aspects of their personality and life will be woven into the story and there’s a chance that the character will meet Bond - and perhaps even be killed by him!”
A guest at the Silver Gala, Mr Horowitz (pictured right) was on hand to greet and congratulate both successful bidders following an unexpected turn in events that resulted in the author agreeing to immortalise both guests in print for a significant donation to the charity.
Glittering black tie event
Notable guests included Bernardo Hartogs of Mar Energy, Lady Judith Solomon, Chairman and owner of Saracens Rugby Club Nigel Wray and Mary Macleod MP for Brentford and Isleworth. Corporate supporters Phoenix Group, Euronext, Hogan Lovells, VocaLink, Canary Wharf Group, Ocean Outdoor, Ashurst LLP, Barclays, and Santander Asset Management all took tables at the event.
Graham Hodgkin, Chief Executive Officer of London’s Air Ambulance, said: “As we approach the end of 2014 our Silver Gala is a fitting way to conclude what has been a fantastic year of anniversary celebrations and fundraising events. I’m extremely grateful to our guests, who have collectively raised a staggering £120,000 in a matter of hours and to everyone across London that has contributed at some point in the year and helped us to save more lives.
Special thanks to long-running supporter Canary Wharf Group that has provided use of its very elegant East Wintergardens for the setting of our Silver Gala and also to our ex-patient, who bravely stood up in front of a packed room to deliver a poignant reminder of why we’re all here tonight — to provide the very best patient care when someone in London critically needs it”.