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Our Sunflower Ball takes place tonight! And what an exciting week leading up to the celebration…

Hi Sunshine News Readers,

Today’s the day! Our Sunflower Ball is finally here and tonight will see the long-awaited, highly anticipated celebration of 95 years of The Chronicle Sunshine Fund. We will be joined by a long list of guests from lots of different backgrounds.

We’ll be joined by long-term and new supporters of our small local charity, as well as trustees of the charity, and families who have been supported with life-changing equipment over the years. The event is sponsored by long-term friends and loyal supporters of The Sunshine Fund: Eldon Square.

We will be hearing from general manager, Cormac Hamilton, on the night. We’ll be united for one night only where we will commemorate the impact the charity has had on so many children living with disabilities, additional needs and terminal illness in our region, hearing from supporters who will look back and how far we’ve come, and the evening will be about looking forward at how much further we strive to go.

The two weeks running up to the event have been nothing short of manic but the results have been rewarding and everything is looking fabulous. The hard work will be so worth it when we see how much money we’ve been able to raise on the night, knowing that every penny will go towards supporting local babies, children and young adults living with additional needs, through equipment, support, and family events.

Without further ado, we have lots to share from the last week, starting off with our brochures which arrived this week! The brochures are jam packed with messages from the charity, a word from our sponsors, information for the night as well as a long list of prizes and experiences to be won, and the various ways in which guests can take part to win them.

We’ve been so lucky to have had so many fantastic prizes donated at this event, and we will have a long list of thank you’s to shout out in next week’s column! This week, however, we would love to shine a light on Amy, who owns a small local business called Novaquartz.

Amy sells crystals and has lovingly curated a Sunshine themed wellbeing box, which will be available to bid on as part of a belated Mother’s Day ‘Treat Your Mam’ package. The effort and enthusiasm she has put into this is paramount, and we are so grateful for her donation – you can follow her on Instagram and TikTok at @novaquartzuk.

She has even posted a TikTok of her collating the box, and she’s articulated our charity messages flawlessly. Whoever wins this auction lot is in for a huge treat, as it has been bundled with various pamper-themed prizes such as a salon voucher, reiki healing, afternoon tea and theatre tickets – the perfect relaxing package for a loved one.

This is just one of many incredible prizes up for grabs; we have a plethora of vouchers and tickets to local attractions and venues, offering unique experiences for adults and children, friends and families, as well as a meet and greet with our charity patrons, Ant & Dec, where the winner will receive tickets to Britain’s Got Talent, with an overnight stay in London’s Waldorf Astoria.

In other news, we’ve had some very exciting meetings in the run up to the big day; last week, we paid a visit to the lovely Asha from Danceversity, a local community group offering dance classes to children with additional needs. We have grown a fond relationship with Asha and her group since we funded equipment to be used in the classes, as shown below.

We are thrilled to have a group from Danceversity joining us at The Sunflower Ball tonight, where they will perform a dance to Katy Perry’s Firework, as well as signing ‘You Are My Sunshine’. We also have a couple of very exciting surprises in the mix, which guests will have to wait to see…

It was a pleasure chatting to Asha ahead of the event and seeing her energy and enthusiasm firsthand was inspiring. It was a joy to see how excited the kids are to perform with us, and it really will be a special moment that we hope all of our guests will cherish.

Myself and Amanda were put through our paces as we were handed some pom poms and invited to join in the dance and cool down stretch, but it was certainly a fun (and very different!) kind of meeting.

From one exciting meeting to another; this week we headed to BBC Newcastle to have a cuppa and chat through the Sunflower Ball with our wonderful host, Anna Foster. Anna has supported our events for years and is a long-term friend of the charity. We have no doubt that she’ll do an incredible job and the event really wouldn’t be the same without her.

She showed us around BBC Radio Newcastle and listeners may have even heard some bits about the Sunflower Ball this week…

Come back next week to hear how the evening went, and keep an eye out for the Sunflower Ball video. Until then, wish us luck! Here’s to raising as much as we can and making it another 95 years!

Thanks for reading,

Sophie X



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