Updated: Jan 18
Frances Connolly has urged business leaders to support the PFC Trust’s second Green & Blue Ball this spring to ensure there is more help for the people of Hartlepool and the North-East.
The charity, which has changed the lives of so many since Frances and her husband Patrick set it up in 2019 after winning the EuroMillions, will host the annual fundraiser at Hartlepool College of Further Education on Saturday, April 15.
There are only a few of the 30 tables remaining and there is also a wide-range of sponsorship opportunities available all with the aim of raising as much money as possible to boost communities in and around the region.
It is hoped the ball will raise more than the staggering £100,000 total recorded last April, when guests also played their part in a silent auction and luxury raffle – to be repeated again this time around.
Frances said: “Everyone had an absolute blast last year. I was flabbergasted by the amount we raised. I have been going to charity balls for years, long before we had the lottery money, and even famous people who have balls like this don’t raise £100,000 on the night.
“This year we have a lot of businesses and local people coming forward. Fingers crossed we are on track because I hope we raise more money as the response to last year’s ball has been so good.
“People pay money to come to this and I make no bones about it - don’t come if you haven’t got an open wallet. It is to raise money to help the people in this area and we want to make this ball even better.”
Hartlepool boxing star Savannah Marshall, ex-Liverpool and England footballer John Barnes and one of Britain’s greatest Paralympians, Tanni-Grey Thompson, are among those already expected to attend this year’s ball.
But the PFC Trust is acutely aware of the challenging financial climate that is making life harder for people across the country, and the charity is determined to do what it can to improve lives and life chances.
Frances said: “When you have a town like Hartlepool that is at the bottom of every list, bar unemployment, the impact of the economic crisis will be felt exponentially more by people at the bottom, in terms of money, nothing else.
“We are asking people who can afford it to be more generous to help the people who need it more. We want to carry out more work. I have put my money into this, but it is also right we are giving other businesses and people with money an opportunity to come and help us.
“The PFC Trust looks to give to the people and areas where it will have the biggest impact in the community – and this fundraising ball can have a massive impact on how much money goes back into Hartlepool and beyond.”
While there is a limited number of tables remaining for the ball, raffle tickets will be going on sale on February 4 priced £20 each or six for £100 and there is a long list of incredible prizes – including a Rolex worth £8,000. These tickets are available from the charity’s trustees or from Hartlepool College.
Frances added: “My father died last year and he had a Rolex, never been worn, and his widow has donated that for the raffle.
“An interesting tale from last year is that the young man who won the Rolex, donated by my daughter, gave it to his mum and she had just recovered from an illness. It nearly broke my heart when I heard that.
“It was such a nice thing to do from the young man. The same table he was on also won the silent auction prize of a holiday cottage in Donegal; when we took payment they paid above and beyond. That’s just superb.”
*If you would like to make a booking to attend the event, obtain more information on sponsorship, or donate to the PFC Trust, then contact thePFCBall2023@outlook.com