CELTIC FC Foundation hosted its third annual fundraising Gala Dinner in London last night (Thursday) and it was another huge success. The venue was the stunning Four Seasons Hotel at Ten Trinity Square, and it was an intimate gathering with around 120 invited guests, including Neil Lennon, Scott Brown, Henrik Larsson and Stiliyan Petrov.
Our sponsors for the evening included Celtic Football Club, Eland Cables, Magners, Eden Mill St Andrew’s, Intelligent Car Leasing, Caviar House & Prunier, Dorchester Collection, Four Seasons Hotel, Mischon de Reya, Timeless Candles Scotland and a number of other incredibly generous organisations and individuals.
Hosted by Peter Martin, the evening kicked off with a tribute to Lisbon Lions, Billy McNeill and Stevie Chalmers, featuring an emotional rendition of Nessum Dorma by ‘The People’s Tenor’ John Innes, accompanied by footage of two of our greatest sons.
Tony Hamilton, Chief Executive of Celtic FC Foundation, then provided a vote of thanks, followed by a video piece featuring the work of the charity.
During the meal, guests were treated to a live music set from the fantastic Troubadours, who made their way around the tables, providing their own unique brand of entertainment.
Following the main course, guests were treated to a performance from Jon Culshaw, who is regarded by many as the country’s best impressionist, with a catalogue of over 350 voices and impersonations.
After dessert, Peter Martin invited manager, Neil Lennon, and captain, Scott Brown, to join him on stage for a Q&A as both men shared a mutual admiration as they told stories and recounted special memories from their respective periods at Celtic.
The manager heaped praise on Scott and the current squad for their incredible eight-in-a-row achievement and the captain thanked Neil for his first period as Celtic manager and for stepping in so readily to lead the team to Scottish Premiership triumph this season.
Scott talked about his pride at being with the club for 12 years – to the day – and his hopes and ambitions going forward and Neil shared his pride and excitement around the opportunity to make history once again, at the Scottish Cup final on May 25.
Next up was Celtic FC Foundation employee, Joe Mearns, who shared his remarkable and inspirational story with guests. Having faced huge health and disability challenges since birth, Joe was initially introduced to the Foundation through one of our employability projects and now proudly coaches children and young people, many with disabilities. Joe’s story touched the hearts of every guest and he received a standing ovation as he left the stage.
The live auction contained a total of 11 outstanding prizes and these were complemented by a further 24 in the silent auction.
The formal proceedings were then rounded off by a live set from legendary and iconic Irish folk group, The Dublin Legends (formerly The Dubliners) who ensured the evening ended on a high.
The party then moved to the Merchants Hall to continue the evening, with top-class entertainment provided by Ronan McManus and friends.
We would like to thank all event sponsors, those who donated prizes for the auctions, every guest who attended, Neil Lennon and Scott Brown, Henrik Larsson and Stiliyan Petrov, Jon Culshaw, Joe Mearns, John Innes, the Troubadours, The Dublin Legends, Ronan McManus and friends and our host, Peter Martin.
Please don’t ever underestimate the difference you have made.