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Fundraising focus - Sparkles and Wishes dinner raises £6,500 for wishes
As a group of four volunteers based in Wales, we have 35 years of experience of volunteering for Make-A-Wish. We have witnessed the impact of a wish at all stages, from the initial call or visit from a Wish Maker through to the granting of the wish and the capture of lifelong memories for families.
Earlier this year, Siân, the Community Leader for Wales, decided it was time to raise some money and raise the profile of Make-A-Wish locally. She had the idea of the dinner which was to become known as Sparkles and Wishes, and had the support of an amazing group of volunteers to support this.
Reaching out to contacts we quickly started receiving donations of all sorts - balloon arches, programme design and print, auction and raffle prizes and auctioneer and photography services for the night. We sold advertising space in the event programme and secured a deal for a close up magician to support the evening. The event was hosted at the iconic five-star St David’s Hotel in Cardiff Bay and before we knew it, we had exceeded our target 100 tickets and had around 130 people signed up to the dinner.
On the night, we made use of the Givestar donation platform to collect raffle money using contactless payments and made sure there were plenty of opportunities for people to purchase them. We spoke about the charity and told wish stories at regular intervals through dinner, reminding people why they were there and what we wanted to achieve. Having a wish parent speak had a real impact.
The event was a huge success. We raised just over £6,500 and everyone had a great night. We also succeeded in our aim to raise the profile of Make-A-Wish in Wales. Since the dinner, just over two weeks ago, we have had offers of further donations, interest from new volunteers and corporate businesses offering to support the charity. The momentum is continuing and we are excited to see what happens next.
We have already thought about next year and have the fortunate problem of needing a bigger venue because of the level of interest already. A bigger venue means more people and more money raised, so watch this space.
Sian Williams, Karen Walters, Karen Timbrell and Rhiannon Evans