Last weekend I hosted the Little Stars Ball with all the proceeds going to ChildLine and Cancer Research UK. Conceived and organised by Elaine Neal, a ChildLine worker, because she was inspired after taking a phonecall from a young girl who's mummy was dying and as a tribute to her friend and her son who had both recently battled with cancer.
When I arrived at Lord's Golf Club in Essex it was lavish and decorated like a wedding reception. My name place was set next to a familiar one …Esther Rantzen! How very exciting! My job was to welcome guests and control the proceedings such as a grand auction and raffle as well as tell a few jokes. The evening went swimmingly and after some fundraising 'parlour' style games, we enjoyed a lovely dinner and I chatted with Esther about her time in the jungle and her That's Life days. Very nice lady, big X-Factor and Downton Abbey fan! I got a photo of us together for my scrapbook.
The auction was a lot of fun, with X-Factor tickets going for £1000!! The speakers included a very moving speech and video made by Elaine, the organiser, reminding us why we were there. Esther gave a speech and talked passionately about ChildLine which is now 25 years old, and gave everyone a laugh reminiscing about talking dogs and stuffed cats from That's Life. I had a great time and met some wonderful people and had the pleasure of letting everyone know they had raised almost £15,000 in that one evening! Wow. When I left everyone was merrily dancing to a swing band safe in the knowledge that it was a roaring success. Here's to another in a year's time!
Of the many, many, many things that the wistful me in 2019 would never be able to appreciate, it’s the giddy excitement of asking someone the question, “How are you?” and not pretty much knowing the answer already.