220 people attended Business Beats Cancer Cymru’s inaugural gala dinner event at the Principality Stadium and raised £55,132 in aid of Cancer Research UK. All money raised that evening will now be used here in Wales to fund lifesaving research projects, in a bid to find cures to the cruel disease.
Captivating the hearts and minds of guests on the evening were speakers Sophie Busson and Professor Alan Parker. Sophie works for Cancer Research UK and is Business Beats Cancer Cymru’s relationship manager. She lives with stage four, incurable secondary breast cancer and she received a standing ovation for expressing her heartfelt story on the night. In great detail, she spoke of the hopes and aspirations for her and her family’s future, as well as the overriding desire to find cancer treatments to help people like her and many others in similar situations. In a visual way on the night Professor Alan Parker explained how his team at Cardiff University are “training viruses” by working on the effectiveness of special viruses that have been engineered to infect and kill ovarian cancer cells.
One of the highlights of the evening was the live auction, hosted by Alex Fleming. Nine items sold for £21,500 with prizes including a week’s stay in a French Gîte, Masterchef winner Wynne Evans cooking experience, bespoke steel Welsh dragons, and a team day at the Bobsleigh track with Olympian Mica Moore.
The evening also included music by choir Cân Aderyn, a seated dinner, magic tricks by Lord Harri, a silent auction run by Events Room, and music by DJ Bryan Osborne to end the night.
The Welsh business leaders who teamed up to launch this new fundraising board dedicated to saving lives are: Chair Richard Selby (Pro Steel Engineering), Matthew Phillips (Focus MEP), Angharad Collins (Welsh Rugby Union), Sarah Williams-Gardener (Fintech Wales), Alan Jones (AGJ Accountants), Bethan Lewis (Brandrocker), Sadique Maskeen (Umbrella Funding), Julie Grabham (JGHR Solutions) and Jo Horrigan (Nuvolt).
Chair of the board Richard Selby said of the achievement: “To be honest I’m still in shock. Not of the generous nature of our attendees, but to the level they donated on the night has blown us all away. Quietly, the board and I set what we thought was an ambitious target aiming to raise £40k for our first event, but to raise over £55k is quite something. I’d like to extend my thanks to every single person who attended our first ever event, every company who generously donated prizes for the auctions and raffle and thank you to our extensive list of helpers on the night including Cancer Research UK volunteers and fellow friends of the board.
“We are thrilled that this money will stay here in Wales and help fund those lifesaving research projects that Professor Alan Parker spoke of on the night, and that we can help people like Sophie and others living with this cruel disease to enjoy fulfilled lives with their loved ones.
“The board and I are already planning our 2024 event, so if anyone is keen to sponsor, donate prizes or join the board please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.”
For more information please visit https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/get-involved/volunteer/help-us-raise-money/business-beats-cancer/business-beats-cancer-cymru
The Board comprises Welsh business leaders – Chair Richard Selby (Pro Steel Engineering), Matthew Phillips (Focus MEP), Angharad Collins (Welsh Rugby Union), Sarah Williams-Gardener (Fintech Wales), Alan Jones (AGJ Accountants), Bethan Lewis (Brandrocker), Sadique Maskeen (Umbrella Funding), Julie Grabham (JGHR Solutions) and Jo Horrigan (Nuvolt)
All images credit AME Productions