Generous Gangsters and Molls raise over £50k for Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice

Generous ‘Gangsters and Molls’ have dug deep to make this year’s Zoe’s Place Ball a roaring success – raising more than £54,000 on the night for the Midlands only baby-specific hospice.

Hundreds of guests attended the annual extravaganza at Coombe Abbey Hotel on Friday night – immersing themselves in the Gatsby-era glamour of the 1920s.

As well as enjoying music from Coventry band the Kicks, guests were treated to a charity auction, which featured a line-up of once-in-a-lifetime experiences ranging from celebrity dinner dates to spectacular sporting events.

Among the Aladdin’s cave of prized lots was dinner with Masterchef host Greg Wallace at London’s trendy La Gavroche restaurant, which fetched an impressive £1,600 on the night.

There was frenzied bidding on other lots too, including a corporate box at a Wasps rugby game – which raised £2,200 – a racing experience, which was secured for £600, and a Murder Mystery night in the Cotswold, which fetched £560.

A made-to-measure suit from Henley House in Henley in Arden raised an incredible £1,000 – but it was a day spent with Formula One ace Christian Horner that created the most excitement with bids reaching a jaw-dropping £5,000.

One lucky guest won a pair of earrings donated by Matthew Robinson jewellers in Lutterworth, worth £1,500 – which was donated back to the charity and raised £1,000 from the auction.

Organisers say they are overwhelmed by the generosity of local people, who have once again helped swell the coffers of Zoe’s Place – a facility which provides 24-hour palliative and respite care for children with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions.

Peter Jarvis, Managing Director of Warwick-based Contechs and Chairman of the Zoe’s Place Business Group, said: “What an incredible night. It was absolutely fantastic and we want to thank everyone for coming out and making it a roaring success.

“A huge amount of work goes into our annual ball, but it is definitely worth it when you see the fruits of your labour. We raised a fabulous £54,000 for Zoe’s Place on the night, which will help keep the doors of this precious facility open for longer.”

Businesses across Coventry and Warwickshire have also been praised for their support this year, with Arden Foods signing up as the headline sponsor – having been a strong supporter of Zoe’s Place for the past four years.

During the evening, auctioneer and radio personality JD, announced Peter’s appointment as the first-ever national Patron of Zoe’s Place – the result of a spectacularly successful four years as chairman of the charity’s business group.

This hugely important role will see Peter support all three hospices – in Coventry, Liverpool and Middlesbrough – both individually and collectively to given them greater fundraising power.

Peter added: “I am incredibly proud of my association with Zoe’s Place. It is a remarkable charity which provides an essential lifeline to so many people who are enduring the hardest battle of their lifetime.

“I hope that we will continue to host this spectacular event for many years to come and I know that the generosity of people across Coventry and Warwickshire will continue to make this annual fundraiser a massive success.”