The London Press Club Ball 2016 has raised more than £20,000 for the Journalists’ Charity.
Journalists, stars and editors attended the glittering annual event hosted by Sky News presenter Dermot Murnaghan – himself a long-standing ambassador for the charity ‘run by journalists for journalists’.
Guests at the Ball, held amid the splendour of the Victoria and Albert Museum – the ‘V&A’ – in London’s South Kensington included: Express Newspapers and OK! owner Richard Desmond, and his wife Joy; The Sun columnist and Loose Women panelist Jane Moore; Daily Mirror assistant editor and Sky broadcaster Kevin Maguire; Kristina Kyriacou, adviser to Prince Charles (and Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton); Julian Payne, Prince Charles’s new head of communications; Charles Anson CVO, the Queen’s former Press Secretary; and Metro editor Ted Young.
Patron of the Ball, Lord Black of Brentwood, opened proceedings at the champagne reception in the V&A’s Dome with a speech imploring guests to ‘dig deep’ for the Journalists’ Charity which helps those in need through ill health, unemployment or sheer bad luck. He said financial help is needed now more than ever during a challenging time for the media – an industry whose freedoms and beliefs are coming under ever-increasing attacks.
Guests bidding at the Ball’s hi-tech silent auction, overseen by specialist sponsor partners Givergy, used electronic pads on each table and raised more than £20,000 from the star lots.
Joint chairmen of the London Press Club Ball 2016 Ray Massey and Rob Jobson thanked headline sponsors Jaguar Land Rover, champagne reception sponsors Qatar Airways, and other backers for their key support which made the charity fund-raising Ball possible.
easyJet sponsored the raffle, and The Money Shop were also key sponsors along with British Airways which backed the ‘Heads & Tails’ ice-breaker game with a prize of two business class tickets to New York. Media partners were News UK, Telegraph Group, dmgmedia, Independent and the London Evening Standard.
Massey and Jobson said: ‘Our host Sky Presenter Dermot Murnaghan made an heroic effort to meet a very tight deadline to get to the event – the second time he has hosted our Ball – after presenting a special on Syria. We are so grateful to him and to our Ball Patron Lord Black of Brentwood for their support.
‘The evening’s auction raised in excess of £20,000 for the Journalists’ Charity. It also raised awareness of the London Press Club itself which is the other key reason for holding it.
‘It also had a very patriotic feel as the Wine and Spirit Trade Association showed our 360 guests that the British can make a corking bottle of fizz too.
‘English sparkling wine from Chapel Down in Kent and Hattingley Valley in Hampshire took the baton from their Champagne colleagues, to host the reception for the first time.
‘We were thrilled and proud to be associated with such excellent English wines. Working with the WSTA meant that this year’s charity event was celebrated in style.’
Entertainment was provided by the brilliant violin duo Elektra, the Patriot Girls singing trio, and a DJ rounded off the evening with dancing in the Dome.
Journalists’ Charity chair Sue Ryan welcomed the fund-raising efforts of the London Press Club Ball: ‘It’s a lovely atmosphere that combines fun and fund-raising for a very important cause close to our hearts and to our industry. We really do appreciate the hard work by the Ball organisers and their committee to make the evening a great success both for the London Press Club and for our charity’.
Sue also used the event to launch the charity’s new ‘ Your Round’ appeal in which all journalists are being asked to donate £3 per month by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
She told guests: ‘For less than the price of a glass of wine, or a pint, you can transform the lives of journalists in need. It’s a small amount individually but collectively it could be a life-saver for members of our profession when they are in need.’
Chairman of London Press Club, Doug Wills, said: ‘I’m proud to say that the Press Ball raised more than £20,000 for the Journalists’ Charity. This is a fantastic achievement and once again demonstrates the generosity of those in our profession willing to support such a worthwhile cause.
‘It was a fantastic evening and a terrific tribute to our industry to have a full house of 360 journalists and media executives supporting the Press Club and the charity. I would like to say a personal thank you to everyone who made it such a successful event by being there.
‘I’d also like to congratulate Press Ball chairmen Ray Massey, Rob Jobson, along with their committee, for once again pulling together a brilliantly successful event.’
Other key supporters of the Ball included: Barclays, Gatwick Airport, Brittany Ferries, the Four Seasons hotel group, Brunswick, Bloomberg, Press Association, The Wine and Spirit Trade Association WTSA, Hattingley Valley, Chapel Down, The Bolney Estate, Rathfinny Wine Estate, water providers Voss, Sandy Bay London, Media House, Kingsland Wines, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and the Ritz, London, The Sun, Trinity Mirror and the Guardian.