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Lure of the big screen helps Sense International Ball raise £75,000!

Howard Lake | 3 February 2009 | News

Bidding on art and photography items in aid of Sense

A combination of fabulous prizes, a glamorous venue and generous guests eager to help two very good causes managed to raise a fabulous £75,000 at charity ball at the Waldorf Hilton on Saturday night.
A number of fantastic auction prizes helped to boost the fundraising total, culminating in two lucky guests donating £1,900 each for the chance to be seen on the big screen in the next film by Gurinder Chadha OBE. The celebrated director of ‘Bend it like Beckham’ and ‘Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging’ will provide the winners with extras roles in her new comedy horror film, which she described as “Bend it like Beckham meets Shaun of the Dead.”
The ball was a celebration of Sense International’s ten year anniversary, with all proceeds evenly split between the charity and Hilton in the Community Foundation.
As well as dinner, raffle and auctions, guests enjoyed a dance performance from three times British National Amateur Latin American Champions Lisa Darby and Gregor Rebula and a surprise turn from ‘Incognito’, the Singing Waiters.
Sense International works in the developing world to help people who are both deaf and blind to live full and active lives. The charity now provides support to more than 30,000 deafblind people in ten countries.
Jeremy Charles, Chairman of Sense International said:
“The ball has set Sense International’s tenth anniversary celebrations off to a flying start and this is very much thanks to the generosity of the guests. Their support will transform the lives of hundreds of deafblind children and their families. In these challenging times, this support has never been more urgent.
Children born deaf and blind in the developing world face unbelievable challenges but we know that with the right support a deafblind child can learn to communicate and flourish just like any other child. In our first decade, Sense International’s pioneering, innovative solutions have established infrastructure in some of the poorest countries in the world where previously there was nothing available.”
In 2007 Hilton in the Community Foundation used their disaster relief fund to award £50,000 to Sense International’s East Africa programme, the first award of this kind by the Foundation for ongoing international work. The partnership has already made a big difference to many lives in Kenya as part of Sense International’s East Africa Programme. Working closely with Hilton Nairobi, 12 teachers have been trained, 41 deafblind children have been identified and professionally assessed, 60 deafblind children are now receiving services and 17 have had school transport secured for them to the Kilimani Primary School, the only day school with deafblind children in the country.
Simon Vincent, Hilton Area President Europe said:
“We are delighted to be partnering with Sense International for their 10th anniversary. During more challenging times it’s absolutely crucial that big businesses continue to support charities, whose work becomes even more important. The Foundation is focussed on its mission to support young people who are at a disadvantage; whether through their health or access to educational opportunities so many of us take for granted. Hilton Hotels has committed to and invested in the Foundation as we see it as a superb way of giving back to the communities in which we operate.”