A few months ago we were approached by a lovely lady named Aurora, who wanted us to help out with a Charity Ball she was arranging in Harrogate. I gave her a call to discuss her requirements and felt instantly connected to her as a warm, welcoming person who had a passion for helping others. She said this was to be her second charity ball and wasn’t given any funding to help with the ball so I offered our services complete free of charge as I knew how much this meant to Aurora and the foundation.
The ball was to be held at The Old Swan Hotel a beautiful setting in the heart of Harrogate. Our sister company Snap Your Moment were also on hand to offer their #MagicMirror free of charge to help raise as much money as possible. I had many of conversations with Aurora leading up to the event and was always on hand should she have any questions about the night itself.
Turning up to the ball we were met by a beautifully decorated venue, which was lit up in pretty pink uplighters all around the room. There had been a lot of time and effort put in to the decoration and it really was truly stunning.
I met with Aurora before hand and discussed how we would be serving the food and of the course the all important reveal. She was super excited as were we.
The time had come to put on our uniforms and welcome the unsuspecting guests in to the room where the ball was being held. On the door we were “Good Evening” “Welcome to the ball” “Have a wonderful evening” We served the starters and main course and none of the guests were aware what was about to happen. During this time there was some wonderful musicians playing piano and vocals as well as an acoustic set being performed too.
A singer on the night Becky Bowe was providing the most beautiful vocals and perfect choice for any getting married, I’m even hoping to book her for my #wedding in December.
We had served the meals and now was the time to surprise the guests. Clare got on the microphone and interrupted the proceedings and welcomed me to sing a song for the guests. Every single one of them had their phone out filming as they couldn’t believe what was going on. We continued the set for around 30 minutes having the guests singing, dancing, waving napkins and generally having an unforgettable time.
It was time to wrap things up and get moving as there was still so much more going on throughout the night.
As I sit here now typing this my heart is filled with so much love for what Aurora and her foundation do. The world is a much better place with people like her in. She is passionate, caring and is trying to do what she can to help the Children suffering in other parts of the world.
A little bit more about the foundation….
Aurora Children’s Foundation (ACFN) was founded by Aurora Rupp, a nutritionist from Harrogate, England. In 2010 Aurora worked on the Paediatric Oncology Ward at the Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI) in Kampala, Uganda. She was saddened to see that as well as battling cancer, many of the children were having to cope with malnutrition. The UCI was the only place in Uganda able to treat people from low income backgrounds. Unable to afford the daily commute to the hospital, rural parents were forced to give up work to be with their children. This devastating loss of income meant parents became unable to afford to feed their families. As a result, these very sick children were dying of malnutrition – something completely preventable. Deeply moved by what she saw, Aurora felt compelled to do something. Using her skills as a nutritionist she designed a menu for the patients that was affordable, tasty and nourishing. Working with a Kampala-based food supplier, Aurora sourced locally available foods for the menu to ensure that the local economy was supported in addition to the families. Today, the ACFN works with the Uganda Cancer Institute to help provide three meals a day for every child on the inpatient ward. Nourished and with full tummies, the children no longer have to worry about feeling hungry. ACFN is an entirely volunteer-run, therefore, 100% of all donations and profits go directly to the projects to feed the children (there are no operating costs or anything). That is why they are really dependent on fundraising. With more and more children being admitted to the Cancer Institute every day, ACFN dream is to be able to feed every single child in both the inpatient and outpatient department. Last year they raised enough funding to introduce a porridge feeding programme for children undergoing chemotherapy treatment on the outpatient ward, the first of its kind. On Saturday 9th June, they held their second charity ball fundraiser, with the aim of raising funding to ensure sustainability of the current food programmes but to also introduce a specialised nutritional support feeding programme for infants unable to benefit from their current food programmes. Unfortunately, these infants are too severely malnourished, and because of this they are unable to undergo surgery or chemotherapy. As their appetite is so small due to their tumours, the current meals ACFN provide are not energy dense enough as they are only able to consume small amounts. Therefore, these infants would need a nutritional support feed to gain sufficient weight, something very expensive in Uganda. The main plan is to start receiving monthly donations so that we can continue to provide the services on a regular basis. Saturday’s Ball was a huge success they managed to raise a staggering £13,000! This funding is going to change the lives of so many children suffering from cancer in Uganda.