Widnes Chairman’s Charity Ball

Over 90 brethren, family, friends and guests attended Widnes Masonic Hall for the annual Chairman’s Charity Ball. The theme for the evening was Black and White.

Neil Pedder welcomes the brethren and guests.

Neil Pedder welcomes the brethren and guests.

After the reception in the bar, guests moved on to the Alan Locke Suite for the main event. Once seated the group chairman Neil Pedder took the opportunity to welcome everyone to the Group Ball. He said that the evening was about having an enjoyable time amongst friends, old and new, whilst raising money for the group chairman’s chosen charity, which this year was Halton Play Council.

Neil went on to thank the group secretary John Gibbon, for all his hard work in helping to prepare for the evening and to Bob Williams and Steve McNee for ensuring that the evening ran smoothly. He also thanked the caterers Pat, Billy and their staff, together with Sandra and her bar staff for all their hard work on the evening.

Continuing, Neil said that this was the third Group Chairman’s Ball, but it was his first as group chairman, as the previous chairman Derek Williams had retired from the office in October 2016 and that this was the first opportunity the group had to mark his retirement and to express their thanks.

Neil Pedder (left) makes the presentation to Derek Williams.

Neil Pedder (left) makes the presentation to Derek Williams.

Turning to Derek he thanked him for all the hard work and dedication he had given to the group which was very much appreciated by all. He had personally found his help and guidance invaluable. He wished him good health and then had the pleasure to present him with a token of gratitude from all the members of the Widnes Group. Derek thanked Neil and the members of the group for the gift and said he had enjoyed his time as chairman and wished Neil well. Neil then said that he hoped that everyone has an enjoyable evening before handing over to the director of ceremonies Bob Williams.

Bob then introduced Joyce Riley, the representative from the Halton Play Council, who explained that they were a local charity based in Runcorn. Their aim is to offer play opportunities to children of all abilities through the different services they provide, whilst supporting families with short breaks. They offer an after school and Saturday short break service, for children and young people aged four to 18, with a wide range of additional needs.

Joyce Riley gives a summary of the work done by the Halton Play Council.

Joyce Riley gives a summary of the work done by the Halton Play Council.

Halton Play Council also run a Saturday Play Club at Simms Cross Primary School in Widnes, every week for children aged five to 12. She stated that it is a Free Open Access Scheme – open to all children of all abilities aged five to 12. Some of the other services they provide include a scrap store, art and craft supplies, room hire, toy library and office services. For more information about Halton Play Council click:-  www.haltonplaycouncil.co.uk

To get the ball rolling Bob, organized a game of stand-up down bingo to ensure everybody was sat for the meal to follow. The last one standing was Frank Parle, who appeared to be overjoyed with his good luck.

David Redhead delivered grace and the meal commenced, which consisted of tomato soup, chicken breast in red wine sauce with seasonal vegetables and a choice of sweets. Tea or coffee completed the meal. David returned thanks.

Pictured left: Frank Parle winning the stand-up bingo. Pictured middle: Mark Pedder rolls the winning coin. Pictured right: Bill Isherwood and Hazel collect their raffle prize.

Pictured left: Frank Parle winning the stand-up bingo. Pictured middle: Mark Pedder rolls the winning coin. Pictured right: Bill Isherwood and Hazel collect their raffle prize.

The Sensations.

The Sensations.

After a short break, Bob introduced the ‘Sensations’, the entertainment for the evening. It was not long before the dancing started to the sound of Motown. When the band’s first session came to a close it was time to hold the raffle. With many prizes and the theme for the evening being black and white, those with winning tickets had to select a black or white ball so as to determine their prize.

Next came the Roll-a-Pound, refereed by Steve McNee. The object of the game is to roll the coin in an attempt to get nearest to the bottle of whisky. It’s surprising how a bottle of whisky can attract so many pound coins. The one closest to the bottle collects the whisky. The winner was Mark Pedder.

It was now time for the Sensations second session with the guests dancing the night away. At the end of the evening Neil thanked everyone for their support in making the evening a massive success. The amount raised on the night for the chosen charity was £1,200, plus a single donation of £500, making a grand total of £1,700. All in all was a very successful Ball.

Dancing to the Sensations.

Dancing to the Sensations.

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