More than 200 guests have raised around £13,000 for the Cornwall Air Ambulance at a James Bond-themed ball at the charity’s airbase.
The event on on Saturday, July 26 had a license to thrill as guests enjoyed a casino, live band, disco and fundraising auction, as well as the opportunity to see the stars of the show: the Cornwall Air Ambulance helicopter and crew.
The charity’s aircraft hangar was transformed into a glitzy Bond lair for the night, with many guests getting into the spirit of the night by dressing as their favourite Bond characters.
One lucky guest won a scenic flight in the Cornwall Air Ambulance helicopter, supported by the charity’s helicopter operator Bond Air Services. Kevin Walker won the star prize, choosing to take along friend Mark Davis, who was celebrating his birthday on the night.
The pair were whisked off on a 15 minute coastal sightseeing flight by air ambulance pilot Mark Woodward and paramedic Mark Fuszard.
Cornwall Air Ambulance chief executive Paula Martin, who got into character as ‘Ivana Raisalot’ for the opening film, said: “This really was a unique opportunity for someone to have a flight in the helicopter.
“Clearly as a charity emergency helicopter pleasure flights are not something we usually offer, so we are incredibly grateful to the crew for volunteering their time and our operator for supporting this incredible prize, which certainly added some sparkle and excitement to the evening.”
Other money-can’t-buy prizes were on offer in the fundraising auction, including a dinner in the BT Tower Restaurant, a luxury inflatable hot tub and a holiday on the Isles of Scilly.
A sumptuous dinner was served as guests enjoyed unique cocktails including, of course, Martinis – shaken, not stirred.
The dancefloor was filled as eight-piece band Risky Business took to the stage, while the ‘Casino Royale’ gave people chance to try their luck at Roulette and other games.
Guests of honour on the night were Cassie Kemp and dad Phil, whose story was included on a video of patient stories shown on the night.
Phil was airlifted to hospital by Cornwall Air Ambulance after falling 20 feet through a skylight onto a concrete floor. Doctors told him if it hadn’t been for Cornwall Air Ambulance he would not have survived his injuries. He recently walked daughter Cassie down the aisle at her wedding.
Head of Fundraising Susie Smith said: “This event is all about our guests having a wonderful time, whilst supporting the vital work of the Cornwall Air Ambulance.
“Having Cassie and Phil there on the night was incredibly powerful and really showed people just what their support means to our patients and their families.
“We cannot thank our guests enough for their generosity on the night. Every year we have to raise over £2.5m to keep this vital emergency helicopter flying and the summer ball is fast becoming one of our most important fundraising events.”