Last month Climb Any Mountain held their inaugural Gala Dinner and Auction to raise awareness and funds for the Transitional Living Centre initiative that will transform the services for people with intellectual disability and mental illness across South Africa.
At 7pm on Friday 25 October, over one hundred and twenty guests descended on the Royal College of Surgeons in Holborn, London to take part in this glamorous evening to celebrate the progress we have made in this exciting project.
The evening started with a champagne drinks reception to the background music of Paul Lunga and his Township Jazz Band. With over forty amazing prizes donated for the auction, the guests had a chance to mingle and get a close up view of the various items they would be able to bid on throughout the evening.
Soon the doors to the Edward Lumley Hall were opened and guests were invited to take their seats. The Master of Ceremonies for the evening, Mark Jeffery came to the front of the room to welcome everyone and set the tone for the evening ahead.
As the first course was served Climb Any Mountain’s founder Kim Crossman took the stage to thank everyone for attending and share the context behind the evening’s event. After a moving account of the personal journey behind her starting the charity she handed over to a representative from BidTech to explain the interactive bidding process. With three iPads on each table, guests could immediately start to bid on the silent auction items. As the bids started to come in the results were projected on screen at the front of the room.
As everyone finished their main course Neil Danks, one of the Trustees took to the stage, to announce ‘Our Story’: over the past three months a short film has been made on location, in Pietermaritzburg, to give our guests a chance to get related to the individuals that Climb Any Mountain supports. The MC then returned to the stage to introduce our auctioneer, Ed Giddins to start auctioning off our six top prizes.
With the mix of incredible prizes, hilarious auctioneer and generous audience the live auction was a lively and engaging affair. The Rolling Stones signed guitar and signed Mohammed Ali boxing glove were the top bids raising an incredible £5,000 between them.
As the live auction was completed guests were informed they had 45 minutes remaining to bid before the end of the silent auction.
With the evening’s scheduled activities at an end, Kim Crossman once again took to the stage to thank everyone for their contributions. As a small token of appreciating, the heads of each table were instructed to hand out small spoons and forks which had been decorated by people at the PMB Mental Health Society as a souvenir of the evening.
The Jazz Band continued to play and guests were invited to mingle, chat and dance the rest of the night away. The night itself was an overwhelming success with a grand total of £35,000 raised once all the donations were totalled up.
Climb Any Mountain would like to thank everyone that donated a prize, volunteered on the night or attended as a guest for making this an extraordinary night.