On Thursday 15th November, I was very fortunate to be the MC for the inaugural Gala Fundraising Dinner held by the Rafiki Thabo Foundation. The foundation seeks to provide funds for young people in Kenya, Uganda and Lesotho that will enable them to get an education from Secondary school right through to graduation from University. Founder and Chairman of Trustees John Uglow, spoke of his experiences which led to the creation of the charity and introduced a video which explained how the work of the charity makes such a transformational difference to the lives of young people in Africa, simply through providing an education.
Over 140 attended the event, held in the splendid setting of Drapers' Hall, the home of the Drapers' Livery Company.
The evening had the usual elements of any successful fundraising dinner, good food,great guests, an auction, a raffle and entertainment all squeezed into a very packed 3 1/2 hours. My role as MC was to keep my client calm, be the voice of reassurance and ensure everybody was aware of what was going on. The MC plays a crucial role at such events and is the linchpin between client, venue staff, entertainers, guest speaker and in this case, technical auction and AV crews.
After a slightly delayed start due to the inevitable London traffic congestion, the night ran like clockwork, and through the efforts of my client Janne Pilbeam and her Rafiki Thabo team and auctioneer Edward Rising, they managed to raise over £45,000 for the charity, a really fantastic effort for an inaugural dinner. The night was rounded off in some style with tales and inspiration from former F1 Grand Prix winner Mark Webber, and of course as an F1 fan I had to bag a picture!
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