Hilton Brighton Metropole ball raises £65,700 for charities

David Hill, Zoe Ball, Howard Lewis, Richard Skerritt, Ryan Heal, Marta Scott (Photograph: Chris Demott Photography)
David Hill, Zoe Ball, Howard Lewis, Richard Skerritt, Ryan Heal, Marta Scott (Photograph: Chris Demott Photography)

A Mid-Summer Ball ball at the Hilton Brighton Metropole raised £65,700 for two charities.

A ball at the Hilton Brighton Metropole raised £65,700 for two charities.

The event was in aid of the hotel’s charitable wing, the Hilton in the Community Foundation, which helps young people across Brighton, the wider UK and in Europe have a brighter future.

The other beneficiary is local children’s charity Rockinghorse, the official fundraising arm of the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital and a vital supporter of the Trevor Mann Baby Unit based in Brighton.

The Mid-Summer Ball was a Brazilian-themed event, reflecting the spirit of the World Cup, and organisers welcomed back Zoe Ball who acted as head judge for a Strictly Come Dancing style dance competition.

Zoe, TV star and presenter of the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing spin- off show It Takes Two, was joined on the judging panel by David Hill, CEO of entertainment group E3, and professional dancer Marta Scott.

Four celebrities and local personalities had been in training to learn a Latin inspired dance, joined by their expert partners.Those brave enough to take on the challenge in front of nearly 400 guests, were: Richard Skerritt, managing director of Skerritts; Andrew Austin, director of Austin Rees; Davina Wells, executive director of Brighton Racecourse; and much-loved children’s TV personality Sid Sloane.

The competition was won by Richard Skerritt who wowed the judges with his samba, along with professional dance partner Carola Degener-Pereira, owner of Brighton Dancing.

Hosted by the team at the Hilton Brighton Metropole, guests enjoyed a sparkling drinks reception, four-course dinner with wine and after dinner entertainment which included live music from Back in the Day, a fundraising auction and indoor dodgems.

Speaking after the Mid-Summer Ball, Howard Lewis, Hilton Brighton Metropole general manager, said: “The night was a culmination of a lot of voluntary work and effort by the ball committee who came together to deliver an excellent event.

“I am also so proud of the whole team who have helped to raise money for the Hilton in the Community Foundation and Rockinghorse Children’s Charity and I am already looking forward to planning next year’s event.”

Ryan Heal, Rockinghorse Children’s Charity chief executive, added his thanks to everyone who upported on the night, he said: “In the last few months, Rockinghorse has donated thousands of pounds to children’s services across Sussex, namely the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital and the Trevor Mann Baby Unit in Brighton. It is because of the generosity of supporters at these types of events that we are able to continue to do so and we are so very grateful for that support.”

Simon Sheehan, Hilton in the Community Foundation’s executive director, also expressed his thanks. He said: “We have been committed to supporting the young people of Brighton and Hove for a number of years and we are delighted that our partnership with Rockinghorse Children’s Charity has gone from strength to strength.

“Thanks to the dedication and voluntary sprit from the team at Hilton Brighton Metropole and the tremendous support of the Brighton and Hove community we are able to the change lives of some very vulnerable and sick children and young people.”