At the end of his 12 months of fundraising, Knutsford Mayor, Cllr Neil Forbes, this week announced a record-breaking amount of £12,365 for his chosen charities: Mid Cheshire Riding for the Disabled, Knutsford Youth Orchestra and Knutsford Friendship Café.
Cllr Forbes has hosted three successful “Eat, drink and be merry” dinners at Pastiche, Brasserie Blanc and Giovanni’s.
In August guests enjoyed a delicious afternoon tea and tour of Tabley House.
Despite the rain at Knutsford Christmas Market, it didn’t dampen the spirits for those wanting to Win Christmas and one lucky winner walked away with over 120 prizes from the stalls on the market.
Now a firm favourite in the Mayor’s fundraising calendar, the Mayor’s Annual Fun Pub Quiz was held at The Angel Hotel where over 150 quizzers in 20 teams battled it out to take the crown from last year’s winners. The quiz was eventually won after a surprise “Pointless” finale by a team from Mid Cheshire Riding for the Disabled.
The highlight of every Mayor’s year is the Mayor’s Charity Ball which, this year, was a glittering affair at The Courthouse. With entertainment kindly sponsored by Fisher German, guests were treated to a caricaturist and close-up magic from Carl Royle during a sparkling reception then treated to a delicious 3-course dinner prepared by Executive Chef Steven Tuke, after which guests hit the dancefloor.
With over 100 prizes on offer, all generously donated by local businesses, the evening started with a bang as guests popped helium balloons, inside which were vouchers for amazing nights out at restaurants, theatres and the cinema. The first prize winner of the raffle was treated to Dinner Bed & Breakfast at Cottons, whilst the silent auction included a bespoke three-piece suit from Lloyd Hall and a golf day at Carden Park. There was also a tombola with an array of prizes which proved popular with guests.
Added to that, there was also the generosity of the numerous table sponsors from a variety of local businesses which culminated in an amazing £7,400 being raised on the evening.
Cllr Neil Forbes said: “I am so pleased to have raised so much for our three local good causes. All of this would of course have been impossible without the generosity of our local businesses matched only by that of the people who turned up in good numbers to support the events. Thank-you all.”
The Mayor’s final event was “Mayor’s Speakeasy Big Band Night” with the Fish Lip Soup Big Band featuring guest vocalist Jenn Clempner. The audience had a great night of popular music in the delightful setting of St John’s Church.
Jeanette Dixon from Mid Cheshire Riding for the Disabled said: “Mid Cheshire Riding for the Disabled have been extremely grateful to be chosen as one of the Mayor’s charities for the past year. It costs us nearly £20,000 a year to provide riding activities and so support our riders. The funds raised will be used towards the keep of our two ponies, Ted & Pip, without them we could not continue our work. We provide riding for 94 disabled people each week. We take part in a Therapy Tracker that helps record the changes and shows us that riders benefit in several areas, not only physically, but also in social relationships and in confidence.”
Kath Small from Knutsford Youth Orchestra said: “This donation will help us to arrange for professional musicians from various orchestras to provide workshops to our children and help promote their knowledge. It will give every child from KYO the chance to go and hear a professional orchestra/group. We will be able to purchase 3 trombones and provide lessons to children who may not otherwise have learnt an instrument (we hope to be able to offer this on more instruments too). We will also use it to offer free places in KYO to children who show musical potential. “
Paula Lambe and Eve James from Knutsford Friendship Café said: “We are extremely grateful to have been one of Mayor Neil Forbes’ three chosen charities over the last year and would like to thank everyone who has participated in whatever way towards the fundraising. The money will go towards trips out for those who come to the café, increasing the number of café sessions held each month and continuing the music therapy which is so much enjoyed. We will also invest in musical instruments as well as new games and activities.”
Notes to Editors: The total fundraising amount raised includes a matched funding amount of £1,250 from Barclays which has been given to the charities. The amount shown on the cheques pictured excludes this amount.