One Charity, Two Nights – What a Ball we had!

Dec 1, 2022  •  General

On the weekend of 25th and 26th November 2022 over 600 people descended upon H&H Exhibition Hall to help raise an amazing £15,000 for Cumbria YFC and the Teenage Cancer Trust (a charity very close to the members and families of our County Federation).

Seeing the transformation from the Agri Expo a few weeks earlier to the Exhibition Hall being fully lined, carpeted (thanks to Dale and his team at DTL Marquee Hire), 30 decorated tables and 300 people in Black Tie each evening was breathtaking. How could a cow shed look and be so good?

For anyone who did not get the chance to attend (and boy did you miss out), Friday 25th November was the ‘Golden Oldies’ Ball for anyone above the membership age. We had a 3-course meal superbly cooked by Hillary and her team from Fell and Dales Catering. A Charity Auction of 12 amazing lots (which raised just short of £10,000 alone), music to dance the night away too (along with a well-stocked bar from Laurie and his team at Cumbria Mobile Bars to keep guests hydrated) and an all-round amazing evening.

It was difficult to decide what sort of event to put on, as I thought the ‘Golden Oldies’ do so much for YFC that they should be rewarded and after two years of the pandemic and people not being able to meet, it was time for that to change. It was decided that current YFC members would wait on and work on the bar on the first evening and vice versa on the second – this was a cost saving initiative and ran reasonably smoothly (with a few small but rectifiable hiccups along the way). Thanks must go to everyone who helped waiting on and working the bar for both evenings.

At 1am Saturday morning when guests’ carriages started to appear; tables were stripped of their linen, rubbish collected and crockery and glasses boxed up. It was then a quick turnaround early on Saturday for the amazing helpers (which I will mention shortly) to get the tables re dressed, cutlery and glasses etc laid out perfectly and then home to get glammed up themselves as Saturday 26th November was the ball for just short of 300 in age members.

Two courses of food were again provided by Fell and Dales catering, a saxophonist got members onto the dance floor where they stayed all night to then be entertained by an amazing band. The 5 and a half hours on both evenings flew by and again at 1am on Sunday morning, the 300 guests either returned home or carried on partying in Carlisle town.

It was not such an early start on the Sunday morning but a team of bleary-eyed helpers appeared to ‘help’ stack chairs and dismantle tables. A good couple of hours and it was done. The months of planning, tireless hours by numerous people, volunteers for both evenings and 600 happy guests later it was over. We’d done it. Two Balls, One Charity and a mammoth undertaking ticked off the list.

Hindsight is a truly wonderful thing and upon reflection you would generally do something different after the event has happened. For me that would be to have a full organising committee instead of relying on one singular person to organise pretty much everything for the two evenings. Patience and friendship was definitely tested in the months and weeks leading up to the Balls, but I cannot thank Josie Mitchinson enough for her endless hours of probable blood, sweat and tears that went into organising everything from the caterers, to the bands, to rallying practical reliable people up to help setup and dismantle the two events.

There are numerous people who did come together to make the nights happen and I cannot thank each and every one of them individually, but you know who you are.

Two superb nights were had by everyone who attending with some minor hiccups encountered. We’ll be giving the balls a miss this year but watch this space for Josie to organise another two fantastic evenings in 2024 (I presume she will only jump at the chance).

I hope those of you who attended enjoyed whichever evening you attended and for those of you who missed out then hopefully you will get an opportunity to attend any future events we plan.

Warmest of wishes & Thank You for raising such a fantastic amount.

Robbie Tuer

One Charity, Two Nights – What a Ball we had!