Children’s charity ball at Lumley Castle

HAVING A BALL: Supporters enjoy the Hope 4 Kidz celebration.
HAVING A BALL: Supporters enjoy the Hope 4 Kidz celebration.
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CHARITY bosses are celebrating after they came up with a pearl of an idea to boost their funds.

Hope 4 Kidz hosted its eighth Summer Ball to mark its birthday, bringing together a host of supporters to celebrate the occasion.

Held at Lumley Castle, the event had a pirate and pearls theme, with guests invited to try their luck at the coconut shy and feast on a Caribbean-inspired menu, as they did their bit to add to the fund’s cash pot.

The evening raised £3,000, which will help the Pennywell-based organisation continue its work to help a host of people across Wearside and beyond.

Viv Watts, the chief executive of the charity, said: “The ball will help us support other good causes who come to us and apply to us for funding.

“It will also help us put money away for our Christmas party and although it feels miles away from Christmas, we need to start stockpiling.

“And, as well as helping other causes, it keeps our office going, as there are two members of staff including me, and an apprentice.”

The ball also featured a performance of scenes from Pirates of the Caribbean as diners enjoyed their food.

Viv praised the chef, who came up with a host of dishes to fit in with the theme, and staff of the hotel, who decked the room out with candles, pearls and skulls to add to the atmosphere.

Guests also took part in a treasure hunt, with an antique blue topaz necklace the top find of the challenge.

They also joined in other pirate games and took to the dancefloor, as they enjoyed a live band and a disco.

The evening, which saw entertainer Vin Welch, with Sunderland Football legends Bobby Kerr and Micky Horswill joining the guests, also featured a presentation to Sylvia Dodds, who has retired after working with the charity since it launched.

Echo editor John Szymanski was among those to add his support and attend the event.

He said: “We wish Hope 4 Kidz all the best as it enters its next year, where it will no doubt build on its successes so far.

“All the guests had a wonderful evening at the summer ball and it was a great way to not only celebrate the work of the charity, but of those it works alongside across the region.”