Phantom's boost for Norfolk charity appeal

Supporters of farming's charity in Norfolk started the 150th anniversary celebration in style with a ball at Salle Park, near Reepham.And following the launch of the "Give a Ton" appeal to encourage a total of 150 farmers to pledge �100 to the charity, two more Norfolk grain merchants have rallied to the cause.

Supporters of farming's charity in Norfolk started the 150th anniversary celebration in style with a ball at Salle Park, near Reepham.

And following the launch of the "Give a Ton" appeal to encourage a total of 150 farmers to pledge �100 to the charity, two more Norfolk grain merchants have rallied to the cause.

The celebration ball, which was staged by invitation of Sir John White, president of the county committee, was organised by a 10-strong committee including Joanna Johnson, Angela Phillip, Emma Ralph, Elaine Turner, Sue Williams, Jenny Youngs, David Bolton and Andrew Chance.

The tables in the tent, which has laid out for almost 300 guests, also had floral decorations done by Gill McEwan, Sally Mitchell asnd Sue Nicholson.


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The surprise of the ball, which was kept as a closely-guarded secret, was arranged by Sir John and his wife, Joan. As the cabaret was announced by Andrew Chance, the lights went down. Then as he announced, "Live from the West End," the spotlight revealed the "Phantom of the Opera," above, who gave a 30-minute performance with two fellow stars. As Sir John had said earlier, he wanted to make the ball a memorable occasion. It was certainly that.

In a further boost for the RABI appeal, Andrew Dewing, of Dewing Grain, of Aylsham, will back the Norfolk fund-raising effort by deducting �100 from harvest sales of grain.

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In South Norfolk, Stephen Howlett, of Openfield, based at Bressingham, near Diss, will also make the same arrangement to help the charity.

Broadland farmer Carolyn Gay, of Thrigby, near Great Yarmouth, who launched the scheme to encourage farmers to pledge cash for the appeal, will be attending the latest RABI cocktail party at the Norfolk showground on Monday, from 6.30pm. "And if we can get 150 farmers to pledge �100, it will raise a lot of money in this anniversary year," she said.

About 275 tickets, �15 each, have been sold, but more can be obtained from the county secretary, Sally Mitchell, of Hall Farm, Repps cum Bastwick. Telephone 01692 670521.

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