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Ben Willows of UKSA

Nearly 200 guests were welcomed to Gurnard Pines last Saturday (12th October) for the 4th Esplanade Charity Gala – an event now firmly on the Isle of Wight fundraising calendar.

Those attending the annual gala were greeted with a cocktail and a fantastic 3-Course meal. The meal was cooked and supplied by local chef Robert Thompson and his team and was served by a volunteer group of students from Ryde School.

In between courses guests were invited to play ‘Heads & Tails’, ‘guess the number of balloons in a car’ and a raffle to gain donations. They were also treated to table magic from illusionist Aaron Isted. This was followed by a talk from each of the charities detailing exactly how their charities would be benefiting from funds raised at the event.

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The local charities that will receive an equal share of money raised are The Isle of Wight Sports Foundation, UKSA (Test the Water Programme) and Kissy Puppy.

There was also an auction which saw furious bidding for ‘money can’t buy’ lots including an Official Rugby Ball signed by current England Captain Owen Farrell.

After the meal and auction guests were invited to enjoy the party by placing a bet at the casino, taking pictures at the Magic Photo Mirror and dancing at the disco.

Esplanade are proud to put this event together each year and believe that it is unique to the Island as 100% of funds raised from ticket sales, auction, raffle, games go to the charities. All costs associated with running the evening are covered by Esplanade, and Robert Thompson generously donates all the food and his time.

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General Manager, Paul Styles says:

“This partnership between Esplanade and Robert Thompson has now seen a total of £67,470 raised for Isle of Wight Charities over the last 4 years. This is something we are extremely proud of and are already thinking about how we can raises even more money in the future”.


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