The 15th Year Celebration Ball

Saturday 5th August was a day of real significance for the charity as we hosted our 15th year celebration. We were celebrating a decade and a half  of charity fundraising in memory of Malcolm Whales. It seems unbelievable that we now measure the time passed in decades!

Following his death in 2008 the Dorset walk was created, the fundraising began and we embarked on this incredible journey. Having never hosted a charity ball we decided that the 15th year was an appropriate reason to hold the first.

The venue for the celebration was the Hayward Theatre at Kings Ely School. The most important detail being that this meant the venue was indoors, as outside it was a monsoon The format for the event was to create an afternoon tea experience with a formal ball feel. The ticket cost was kept as low as possible and as much of the operational work was completed by our team of volunteers. This did mean a significant amount of work was required behind the scenes. The team of Jack Emery, Naomi Lomax, Tony McInally and Keldy Whales were magnificent in their organisation and preparations.

Some of the highlights of the evening:

  • The ‘raffle manipulation’, far from by design, on arrival a queue developed as people bought raffle tickets. As a result everyone bought tickets and the fundraising was taken care of!
  • The bar stress – we had ‘trialed’ the bar the night before to make sure it works! Obviously on arrival ‘it didn’t’, after a frantic few minutes we realised the pumps were turned off.
  • The band was fantastic with almost everybody on the dance floor.
  • The celebration video was superb and really shows what TMWF is and what it has achieved.
  • It was a nice touch to hear Patrons and Trustees speaking about TMWF’s achievements and their roles
  • We obviously appreciated everyone that attended. I do want to mention the ‘2008 originals’, Edgars Gift who travelled from Warwickshire and several friends of my dad’s from Norfolk.
  • The dress code was smart/relaxed. Everybody arrived appropriately attired apart from Jason who arrived in jeans and t-shirt. 
  • The afternoon into evening format worked brilliantly. Afternoon tea and then ending with a hog roast was enjoyed by all.
  • Even though the intention was to make this a celebration and not a fundraising event, due to people’s generosity with the raffle, the buy Malcolm a pint Justgiving page, the Heads or Tails game and bar profits we managed to raise a very healthy £3000


All that was left was to get up return to Ely to tidy up, take down the marquee, empty the bar and return all the equipment to the container. Who doesn’t enjoy that after a day/night at a ball?

Thank you to everyone that attended the event, everyone that has contributed over the 15 years and in particular everyone that made the event such an amazing event.