Children’s disability charity Seashell Trust is throwing the template of an annual fundraising ball out of the window.
In a bold move, the Stockport charity is staging a Strictly Come Dancing-style evening that is bound to bring out the competitive streak in the business and high society worlds of Greater Manchester and Cheshire.
Eight business leaders are deep in training in advance of the dance-off in front of Strictly favourite Robin Windsor to decide who will lift the coveted Seashell Trust glitter ball on Saturday, April 28.
Professional dancers will be putting the novices through their paces for ten weeks until the big night when each couple will perform their dances in front of 300 Seashell supporters and guests between courses of a beautifully catered dinner from Matthew Barrett.
The Cheadle Hulme-based centre of excellence in care for children with complex disabilities is keep the eight business leaders Strictly under wraps for the time being but Brown Shipley’s Gavin Wiggans and Amy Townsend of Ultimate have revealed they will be putting on their dancing shoes.
Wendy Bray, fundraiser from Seashell Trust, said: “We had really wanted to shake up our ball for a while as there are so many dinners and balls around that follow the same format.
“The idea came from one of our corporate supporters – Ruth Wright – who is a senior solicitor at Potter Rees Dolan in Manchester.
“We pride ourselves on delivering high-quality events that are a little different so this felt like the perfect one.
“We had so much interest from the business community that we even have a wait list to take part.
“Our ‘stars of the show’ will be revealed a little closer to the event although we know there is already a lot of speculation about who will be slipping on the sequins.”
Guests will be able to vote for their favourite dancers on the night via text with all proceeds going to Seashell Trust, and instead of sitting through an old-fashioned live auction, there are going to be some amazing prizes up for grabs in an iPad silent auction.
There has been a shake-up in the venue as well. Rather than a conventionally swanky hotel, Seashell Trust’s Strictly Ball will have the honour of being the first event staged at the glamorous new Rolls-Royce McLaren garage in Wilmslow.
Wendy added: “Once Rolls-Royce very kindly offered their amazing new showroom for our event, we knew it had to be something spectacular to do justice to the very special space.”
The ball is also sponsored by longtime Seashell supporter PZ Cussons.
To sponsor the charity fundraising event of 2018 or book your place, please contact Jo Barber on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0161 610 0170. Tables of ten are £750, and individual tickets £80.