One of AMAR’s leading supporters, LDS Charities, stunned guests at this year’s “Masquerade” Gala Dinner by presenting us with a cheque for an incredible $500,000 (£325,000).
Our Chairman, Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, was visibly surprised as she was handed the cheque by one of the LDS’s 12 Apostles, Jeffrey R Holland. The Baroness said later that she had been “totally shocked” by the gift and was overwhelmed by the generosity of our LDS supporters.
“Thanks to my good friend Elder Holland and the Director of LDS Charities, Sharon Eubank, and all the wonderful people within the organisation, AMAR has a great working relationship with the LDS,” she explained. “They do fantastic charitable work all over the world, and they know that by giving us this money we will spend it wisely to ensure we get full value for every dollar they have donated and ensure we help as many people in Iraq as we possibly can.”
AMAR’s Chief Executive, Richard Crow, was also overwhelmed by the size of the donation. “We cannot thank LDS Charities enough for this. AMAR battles to raise every single pound and because we fight so hard for our money we take the greatest care with it. We’ll be able to help and rebuild the lives of many more thousands of people,” said Mr Crow.
The amazing donation topped off a marvellous evening for more than 200 guests at The Savoy’s beautiful Lancaster Ballroom. With the champagne reception generously sponsored by SIM and the programme sponsored by Numerus Group, the event raised £35,000 for AMAR.
The award-winning comedian and AMAR supporter, Omid Djalili, had guests laughing out loud with a mini stand-up routine before this year’s auction, and the musical entertainment came from a group of amazing artists from the Peace and Prosperity Trust whose mixed routine included traditional Middle East songs and classical and popular opera.
Our regular auctioneer, Bonhams’ Charlie Thomas, kept a trusty eye on the bidding for another set of generously donated lots. They included a week’s stay for 12 people at a luxury villa in Lazarote, presented to us by Chris and Cynthia Bake; a limited edition signed lithograph print of the legendary racing car driver, Juan Manuel Fangio, presented by Peter Ratcliffe of “Legends in Time”; and Masterclasses with a musical theatre star and a top Paralympian athlete, donated by the LDS Church.