Spring Charity Night

The Rural Business Community raises £2,334 with their Spring Charity Night for the Motor Neurone Disease Association


On Thursday 3rd May 2012 The Rural Business Community hosted its first Spring Charity Night, in aid of The Motor Neurone Disease Association. MNDA is a charity which has recently become very close to the Commercial Director’s (Caryl Reading) heart. Last year, out of the blue, she received some very bad news from a very good friend. At 36 years old, and a father of 2 small children, her friend’s husband had contracted Motor Neurone Disease and was looking at a life expectancy of 3-5 years.

The disease had come on quickly. It started with the occasional stiffness in his legs, then without explanation he fell over a few times whilst commuting to work. So he went to his GP, which led to tests. Three weeks later he was given the devastating news that he had MND. Everyone knew little about the disease and were horrified to discover there is no cure and no treatment to slow its progression.

Within 1 year he has lost the use of his legs, arms and hands. He currently has 60% use of this lungs, is losing his ability to speak and his life expectancy has been reduced further.

However, there is optimism; the MND association is doing the most wonderful work. It is their mission, to fund and promote research to bring about an end to MND. Until then, they do everything they can to ensure that those with MND get the care they need to achieve the highest possible quality of life and to die with dignity.

The MNDa is currently co-funding a drugs trial. It costs £150 to fund a MND researcher for one day and the aim of the evening was to collectively raise enough to fund a researcher for a week. This aim was smashed and enough money was raised for 15 days of research.

Caryl feels passionately that the best way to raise money is to have fun. And fun was certainly had at The Rural Business Community’s first charity event, an evening of Fine Food, Wine and Jazz!

The evening began with welcome drinks (a Venetian Spritz), provided by Ben Robson of ‘The Bat and Bottle’. Gourmet canapés & cheese board were accompanied by the wonderful sounds of Claire Colton and Razzmatazz Jazz. Whilst soaking up the atmosphere, guests were able to browse through the stalls that were available. These included the beautiful, hand painted kitchenware by Sarah Stillman, locally produced rapeseed oil form Nick Bradley of ‘Heart of Gold’ and the innovative and exciting product range from the award winning chef, Thierry Daugeron.

Thierry runs the Stamford Cookery School along with a Catering and Events company. Thierry created the wonderful canapés for the evening, and presented a fantastic cookery demonstration, using local produce which was both informative and entertaining. The guests were also able to sample the delicious dishes that he prepared, including a chorizo tortilla, chicken samboca and gooey chocolate fondant.

Following on from Thierry’s demonstration, Ben Robson from Bat and Bottle provided a superb wine tasting session. The Bat & Bottle import and sell estate bottled wines from around the world and are based Oakham. Ben’s speciality is Italian wine, for which he has enormous enthusiasm.

The final element of the evening was an auction, where all proceeds went to MNDA. The lots included two original paintings from Garth Bayley, a sketch from Malcolm Mitton, a signed Leicester Tigers shirt, a family photo shoot donated from Wilson White Photography and ‘The Ultimate Dinner Party’- a haircut from Simon Cawthorne and a three course meal prepared and served by Thierry Daugeron and Efficient Portfolio.

The Rural Business Community is incredibly grateful everyone who came and supported the evening so generously. We must also thank all the  stall holders, Razzmatazz Jazz, ‘The Bat and Bottle’ for giving us their time, contributions and expertise, which all helped us to achieve a fantastic evening. Generous donations were also received from the following local artists and businesses that made the evening possible; Garth Bayley, Malcolm Mitton, Simon Cawthorne, Wilson White photography, Leicester Tigers, Efficient Portfolio, Thierry Signature Events, Pot Bellied Pig Brewery, Lincolnshire Poacher, Cote Hill Cheeses and Belvoir Fruit Farms. A special thank you also has to be given to Thierry Daugeron for the time and energy he put into the event.

The result of the evening blew us away- at the last count we raised £2,334, which was double what we had hoped for! A huge thank you goes out to everyone involved. All of the money raised is going to a fantastic cause and will make a difference to the research into Motor Neurone Disease and improving the quality of life for those who are affected by it. We would like to share the letter of thanks that MNDA sent to us with everyone that contributed, participated and joined us for the night. Click here to view this letter.

To see more images from the night, click here.