On Saturday 1st December, the Grand Pier in Weston-super-Mare was filled with local business people, as well as some familiar faces, attending the bi-annual Memorial Ball in loving memory of Weston-super-Mare businessman, Axentis Michael.
Retail entrepreneur Theo Paphitis, who also starred in the BBC 2 television series Dragon’s Den, was one of the many celebrities who attended the event as well as British clothes designer Jeff Banks. Others on the guest list included television presenter Quentin Wilson, entertainer Brian Conley and ex-Formula One racing driver Mark Blundell.
Kerry Michael, Trustee and owner of the Grand Pier said: “This event is the highlight of the social calendar and we are very grateful to everyone involved with us who gives so much to help us to give support to our community.”
The Trust has recently helped pay for a specialised, all-terrain wheelchair for seven-year-old Phoebe Small from Weston-super-Mare who has a learning disability known as Global Development Delay.
A Sorrento Chair has also been gifted by the trust to Weston Hospicecare, which helps to provide comfort and aid a person’s posture.
Kerry added: “It is so rewarding and satisfying to be able to assist in the provision of specialist equipment and to fund other projects which can make such a significant difference to the quality of life for those in our community. The record amount of £264,000 raised at our 2018 ball means we will be able to help many more deserving people in the months and years to come.”
A charity auction on the night raised the funds and an array of experiences were sold, including VIP tickets to see world boxing heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, a trip to watch the Men’s semi-finals at Wimbledon as well as lunch cooked by world-renowned chef Michelle Roux Jr.
A silent auction and donations gifted by guests also contributed to the final amount raised.
The Axentis Michael Charitable Trust started as a small charity memorial to remember the life of Weston-super-Mare local hotelier, Axentis Michael, who passed away in 2003. The charity’s work is focused around the local area, distributing funds to the most worthy cases.
In December 2016, the ball raised £252,000 – and since the ball in 2018, the charity has given more than £1.5million to charitable causes in the local area.
The next Memorial Ball will take place in November 2020.