A COUNCIL chairman’s dinner raised a sky-high £2,625 for the RAF Benevolent Fund.

Buckinghamshire County Council Chairman Carl Etholen hopped aboard a Puma 2 helicopter to hand over the cheque.

Having totted up the takings and donations from his Battle of Britain dinner in the Judges' Lodgings at Aylesbury last September, the chairman visited RAF Benson to make the donation to the fund's regional director, Paul Hewson.

The dinner was part of Cllr Etholen’s campaign to support voluntary organisations during his year of office as Buckinghamshire County Council Chairman. Group Captain Justin Reuter, of Headquarters Air Command, was the guest speaker.

Cllr Etholen said: “This is an amazing total and I'm very grateful for such strong support for a charity that does a huge amount very quietly for the welfare of RAF personnel. We have strong links with our two RAF stations in Buckinghamshire and this is a good way to show our support.'

The RAF Benevolent Fund provided items for auction at the dinner and this, combined with the profit from ticket sales and donations, raised the grand total.

The fund helps RAF personnel, past and present, and their families with a wide range of support from child care difficulties and financial hardship to injury, disability, illness and bereavement.