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The 2017 Zoë’s Place Ball was one for the record books as the fundraising total surpassed all previous efforts, with thanks in large part to all the local businesses that once again gave their all to organise a fun and successful event for the charity.

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Embarking on her new Ambassadorial role for the hospice, Hollywood actress Rosie Day sent a memorable message, which certainly helped play a part in driving forward the fundraising, as did the glamorous black and white theme. Attendees were also inspired by a very personal and moving speech from Nathan and Claire Baines, whose son Joel is currently being cared for by Zoë’s Place.

Following on from the recent Children’s Hospice Week, the announcement that the total raised had exceeded £61,000 will be a very welcome addition to the charity’s income.

More than 350 people attended the event at Coventry’s Coombe Abbey Hotel, including the charity’s Patron Lady Daventry, her husband Lord Daventry and UB40 Founder Brian Travers. Letitia George, who wowed the judges of The Voice during series 4, got the event off to a tremendous start, while host John Dalziel from Free Radio kept everything running smoothly.

The fun and entertainment didn’t stop there and the fundraising continued throughout the evening with a raffle, heads and tails, a silent auction and live auction, for which the top bid was £3000 for a Wasps Corporate Box.

Also up for grabs were many other items including two unique Racing Experiences donated by Ian Williams (which between them raised £2000), a British Superbike visit (which raised £1300) as well as a holiday for two at MacDonalds Resort Hotel in Portugal which raised an amazing £1250.

The most poignant moment of the night came during Nathan and Claire’s emotive description of how Zoë’s Place has had such an impact on their lives and that of their son Joel. Beginning in 2016, Zoë’s Place has given care to Joel, providing them with continuing support whenever they have needed it.

Joel’s father Nathan is now a member of the Zoë’s Place Business Group, and was impressed by the support shown by organisers and attendees at this event.  He commented:  “As parents of a child at Zoë’s Place we were genuinely overwhelmed by the number of local people who attended the ball and their incredible generosity. It’s humbling to think that from the money raised our son, Joel, will benefit from a better quality of life. How special is that!”

Dedicated to babies and young children up to the age of 5, Zoë’s Place is the Midlands’ only facility with this special focus.

To enable the hospice to remain open 24 hours a day, every day of the year, it faces a continual problem of raising sufficient funds to subsidize baseline nursing and ancillary staff.

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Peter Jarvis, Zoë’s Place Business Group Chair and Managing Director of Contechs commented: “The success of this year’s event has surpassed all others and sets the bar going forward.

“The generosity of all those attended was just incredible.

“Zoë’s Place is an amazing charity and one that provides a vital service to the local community, yet is one which is wholly reliant on charitable donations.  It is a charity which as soon as you step through their door gets under your skin.  You want to be a part of it and lend a helping hand and I would challenge anyone to feel anything different.”

Muna Chauhan, Corporate Manager, Zoë’s Place outlined the difficulties the charity experiences and the importance of fundraising: “We are currently running at four out of six cots and have a number of families who want to use our services but without funding we are unable to offer this.

“Fundraising initiatives such as the Ball are therefore just so important to us and play a crucial role in helping us to continue to deliver the level of service on which our families rely so much.

“As a charity we are incredibly grateful to the generosity of all those who supported the Ball and we are particularly pleased to welcome Rosie Day as our new Ambassador.

“We have a number of exciting plans in the pipeline and the result of Zoë’s Place Ball, as well as the support of the Business Group is going a long way towards helping us to achieve our objectives.”