London Press Club Ball raises £40,000 for Journalists' Charity

A record £40,000 was raised for the Journalists' Charity at this year's landmark 10th anniversary London Press Club Ball.

It marked a significant fund-raising achievement in the charity's 150th anniversary year, up by a third on last year, says the London Press Club.

The cash boost was the icing on the cake for the star-studded Ball which took place at the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand on Thursday October 9 and made headlines of its own.

HRH The countess of Wessex was guest of honour at the 10th Anniversary London Press Club Ball and attended a special VIP pre-reception for sponsors before speaking to the near 500 guests in the main hall of the Royal Courts.

A robust defence of free speech was delivered by Lord Rothermere, chairman of DMGT which publishes the Daily Mail and associated titles and president of the Journalists' Charity for which the Ball was raising funds. Its patron is HM The Queen.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said police should be banned from trawling journalists' phone calls to identify whistle-blowers without judicial approval.

London Press Club Ball co-chairman Ray Massey and Robert Jobson said: “It is gratifying to know that our generous guests, Ball sponsors, and media partners turned a landmark double-anniversary event into a record breaker. It was a night of many superlatives. Tables sold out in record time and there were a record number of guests just short of 500."

Journalists' Charity chairman Laurie Upshon said of the £40,000 fund-raising record: "This is a terrific achievement and a major boost for the charity's fundraising in this double anniversary year. The Ball continues to be the major media event of the year and we look forward to continuing our partnership for many years to come."

London Press Club chairman Doug Wills said: "It's a marvellous tribute to all who supported the Press Ball that we are able to donate a record amount in such a special year to the Journalists' Charity. I would like to thank every single person who put their hand in their pocket, all the sponsors who wrote such generous cheques and to pay tribute to the army of organisers especially the London Press Club Ball committee. Many congratulations to you all. It's fantastic to make a £40k donation to the Journalists' Charity which provides such wonderful support.

Journalist and broadcaster Kate Silverton hosted the glittering evening, whose main automotive sponsor Jaguar Land Rover also produced the two star auction items linked to their new XE sports saloon and Land Rover Discovery Sport models.

Other main sponsors were nPower, Barclays, easyJet, Camelot, The Money Shop, British Airways, the Earl of March and Goodwood, Etihad Airways, Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts, Belmond, Jamie Hendry Productions and 'Let it be', Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne, Sainsbury's, Coca Cola, and the London Press CLub's long-term media partner Skoda.

The Countess of Wessex already has a long association with the Journalists' Charity, having opened its new care home, Pickering House in Dorking, in 2007. It also celebrates an enduring royal link with the charity going back a century and a half to the reign of Queen Victoria. In May this year HM The Queen, patron of the Journalists' Charity, attended with the HRH The Duke of Edinburgh at a special 150th anniversary celebration at Stationers' Hall in London, just a stone's throw from Fleet Street.

The glittering London Press Club Ball reached its landmark anniversary as the highlight of the national media's social networking calendar, attended by editors, proprietors, senior journalists, executives, programme makers, household-name star columnists, TV and radio broadcasters.

Guests included London Evening Standard editor Sarah Sands, Mirror editor-in-chief Lloyd Embley, former Sun editors Kelvin McKenzie and Stuart Higgins, BBC business editor Kamal Ahmed, Sky City editor Mark Kleinman, columnists Janet Street-Porter, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and Rosie Millard, model turned businesswomen Caprice, and DJs Mike Read and Pat Sharp.

The evening was rounded off by an exclusive silent auction, and a 'money can't buy' live auction hosted by veteran LBC broadcaster Nick Ferrari, and tremendous live music from mezzo-soprano Laura Wright and the cast of the West End Beatles musical 'Let it Be'.

Military heroes from Tickets for Troops helped draw the raffle.