A Very Happy Birthday

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13 November 2009: At SHINE’s 10th Anniversary Benefit Dinner last night, guests laid the groundwork for SHINE’s second decade in remarkable style. Egged on by Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow, and the opportunity of a private dinner with SHINE Patron Sir Alex Ferguson, SHINE supporters took just 25 minutes to pledge an astonishing £537,000.

2009 - Status Quo in concert

2009 – Status Quo in concert

With the business of the evening concluded, the stage rapidly transformed into a full-blown rock concert, courtesy of a truly barnstorming performance by the legendary Status Quo. The band, who waived their performance fee for the event, treated guests to their most famous hits in one of the most memorable SHINE concerts in recent years (certainly no others have prompted quite so many displays of air guitar prowess). Once The Mighty Quo had retired backstage, the crowd was kept on their feet by top DJ Dan Lywood right up until the final moments of the event. All in all, it was quite a night.

Drinks, dinner and live auction drama

2009 - The Roundhouse

2009 – The Roundhouse

Following the enormous success of last year’s event, SHINE decided to return to the Roundhouse in North London for our 10th Anniversary Benefit Dinner. The evening began with a drinks reception of champagne, cocktails and canapés, as well as bars serving seafood and jamon iberico. Guests then made their way to the main space for a dinner that included a unique birthday balloon of chocolate, marshmallows and winter berries. After a brief speech from SHINE’s Chairman, Jim O’Neill, Professor Alison Richard, Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University and a SHINE Patron, praised SHINE’s work improving educational opportunities for disadvantaged children and thereby giving them a better chance of being able to attend the country’s best universities. Jon Snow then took to the stage to guide guests through the film and pledge package of four selected projects: SHINE on Saturdays, Ocean Maths, DigiSmart and Hanover Foundations.

2009 - The Roundhouse

2009 – The Roundhouse

With an irresistible combination of charm, enthusiasm and persuasion, Jon ensured that we beat each of our pledge targets, in some cases by huge margins. Without breaking sweat, Jon then showed off his skills as an auctioneer when Sir Alex Ferguson offered himself as a dinner guest to the highest bidder, along with another football manager of their choosing. Just moments later, Alan Hansen’s offer of a golf fourball with himself and soccer legend Gary Lineker raised a further £20,000, making this one of the most successful fundraising evenings in SHINE’s 10 year history.

Thank you

Thanks to Jon, Status Quo, Alan Hansen and Sir Alex Ferguson – along with the remarkable generosity of all those who pledged and bid last night – this 10th Anniversary Benefit Dinner has provided SHINE with the perfect launching pad for a second decade levelling the educational playing field by providing time, attention and support to those most in need. We are extremely grateful. If you would like to donate to SHINE, please click here. Alternatively, for more information about future fundraising activities, please call SHINE on 020 8393 1880. To view the programme for SHINE’s 10th Anniversary Benefit Dinner, click here.