Olympic stars help pull in £15k at swanky sports club ball

Bucks Free Press: The Olympic stars take questions from fellow partygoers The Olympic stars take questions from fellow partygoers

GOLD medal winning Olympians brought a touch of stardust to Marlow Sports Club’s glamorous mid-summer ball on Saturday, helping raise an expected £15,000 towards the club’s future.

London 2012 kayaking gold medallist Ed McKeever and Paralympic champion rower Naomi Riches joined Team GB hockey medallist and club patron Alex Danson and over 300 attendees for the annual fundraiser.

The black-tie event at the Pound Lane headquarters featured entertainment including a live jazz band, dinner, dancing, a silent auction and a Q and A session with the Olympic stars.

Paul Sambrook, club chairman said:"The weather was great, the company better and the generosity was overwhelming! Suzanne Brown, our Mayor, was even helping with the sale of Champagne bottles signed by our special guests.

"We believe we achieved our two goals: to have a great social event for our members and the town generally and help raise funds for the continuing development of the facilities."

Auction prizes on the night included a week for ten in Provence, golf with Andrew Strauss and Sir Steve Redgrave, and Naomi Riches’ signed Paralympic t-shirt, which alone managed to raise £750.

In total, the live and silent auction together raised £12,600, a strong contribution towards paying off the debt of £1.2 million undertaken to secure the 20 acres of land in the trust, after the club was faced with eviction from the site in 2006.

The club has now cleared more than half of this debt with thanks to the generous support of club members and the wider Marlow community.

Organising committee chair Amber McDermott said: "The debt on the site has been reduced in just over two year by £500,000, helped by the town being very generous through their various fundraising efforts on our behalf, grants from England Hockey and The National Hockey Foundation and of course the membership."

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