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Published 19:36 on 18 Apr 2022

When we said let's organise a fund-raising event for Ukraine a few weeks ago, we had no idea how it would turn out. Saturday night showed RVYC at its best with an event which blew everyone out of the water.

Firstly, huge thanks to the House team of Dide, Andrea and Lindsey who put in the hard work to bring about the dinner. From getting raffle prizes and items to auction, to agreeing the right menu with Ben and Danny, to encouraging people to attend, to doing at least eight(!) versions of a table plan, to selling raffle tikckets, with flags and beautiful table settings and decorations, using the colours of Ukraine we've all become familiar with.

To Andrea, for getting in touch with Daniel Williams for advice on how best to fundraise, what to raise money for and how to ensure it gets to the right people, in the right place, at the right time. Daniel had a great knowledge base and has been so helpful to us in deciding how we can best support the humanitarian relief effort.

For those of you who don't know Daniel, you may have followed his video diaries on TV as he, Tania and baby Sophia endeavoured to leave their home and make the perilous journey across Ukraine, firstly to Kyiv and Lviv and then across the border into Poland. Since making it back to the island, Dan has also made trips back to Eastern Europe with aid relief.

The Catertemp team was just brilliant. The food was delicious and the serving team were also fantastic. Not only did they serve and clear meticulously but they engaged with members and guests as they went about their tasks. What was also lovely to see was how they were really interested to engage with the auction and raffle (how many tickets did Hayley have?!) and to listen, especially to Dan and Tania showing how interested they were with the reason behind our event. The entire team is a tribute to Catertemp and we are very lucky to have such enthusiastic and caring people providing our hospitality at the club.

After a welcome, we had a delicious meal (including Chicken Kyiv!), followed by an auction, presided over by Howard Knowles, our auctioneer for the evening. What a great job he did too, encouraging sometimes slightly reluctant bidding athough there was no reluctance to bid for the Isle of Wight Distillery items!

Peter Donaldson ran the raffle draw, for which tickets had already been drawn and allocated to prizes a quicker way of running such an especially large raffle.

We were hugely grateful to all the prizes and items donated both for the auction and raffle. Such generosity was quite humbling the situation in Ukraine has certainly touched people's hearts in a way not seen for a long time.

I was very happy to announce the total raised from the evening was (drum roll!) over £3,000!!!! Way, way above what we hoped for. Thank you to everyone who donated items and came along and supported the event.

Dan and his wife, Tania, spoke at the end of the evening and said how stunned and touched they were at the amount raised. Their words were eloquent and emotional and were a reminder (if we needed one), of the reason we were all there.

Tania's words were very heartfelt, obviously, and we were all affected by her emotion and how difficult a time this was for her and her family, still in Ukraine. As so much money had been raised, Dan felt it should go towards a specific item and he suggested pooling this money with other funds to purchase an ambulance for the children's hospital in Kyiv. This will be a lasting legacy for the club and also cement the Isle of Wight's and RVYC's ties with Ukraine.

Below is an email from Daniel which really sums up his feelings after the event. We will be making a presentation of a cheque to them in the very near future.

So, thank you to all the wonderful RVYC members (and their guests), who supported the event, both with time and money. A great example of how wonderful our club and its members are.

Helen Vrba | Vice-Commodore |

Last updated 19:36 on 18 April 2022

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