Celtic FC Foundation hosted its fifth annual fundraising Gala Dinner in London last week (Friday) and it was yet another resounding success, raising a staggering net total of over £410K.
Around 130 guests, including Celtic legends, Sir Kenny Dalglish and Henrik Larsson attended the intimate gathering at the stunning Four Seasons Hotel in Ten Trinity Square.
Celtic icons Scott Brown, Stiliyan Petrov and Chris Sutton were also in attendance, with Chris co-hosting the event with sports broadcaster, Shebahn Aherne.
We were also joined in the room by Rock and Roll superstar Sir Rod Stewart, who later provided impromptu renditions of ‘Maggie May’ and ‘You’re In My Heart’.
We were also very grateful to Danny O’Neill, sponsor of the pre-dinner drinks, and Radisson RED Glasgow who sponsored the after party.
The evening kicked off with an introduction video piece on the work of Celtic FC Foundation and a few words from Chief Executive, Tony Hamilton, before we welcomed Irish singer-songwriter Donna Taggart for an outstanding performance of two classic songs, ‘Grace’ and ‘Caledonia’.
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, Glasgow-born singing sensation, Joesef took to the stage for a terrific set, with a mix of his own songs and some fantastic covers, in his own soulful style.
After dessert, it was time for some comedy, with a man known for his distinctive comedic style and regular appearances on Never Mind the Buzzcocks and Taskmaster, Jamali Maddix.
Co-host Chris Sutton was next up, inviting our guests of honour, Henrik Larsson and Sir Kenny Dalglish, to join him for an incredibly special Q&A, with all three Celtic heroes sharing special memories from their careers.
Just before the live auction, Jacqueline Brown told her incredibly personal and hugely inspirational story about the impact the Foundation has had on herself and her family, receiving a thoroughly deserved standing ovation, as she left the stage.
The live auction contained a total of 10 outstanding prizes and these were complemented by a further 18 in the silent auction. Our auctioneer, Des McKeown, then appealed to and encouraged guests to lend their support to the Foundation through the evening’s pledge drive and a wealth of donations were very gratefully received.
The formal proceedings were then rounded off by another live set from The Troubadours, who ensured the evening ended on a high.
Monies raised will support the Foundation’s project delivery in Glasgow, London and Ireland, primarily through our Community Games initiative in all three locations. These projects focus on engaging children living in poverty during the school holidays, ensuring that they have a safe place to go where they can continue to learn, develop and grow while being provided with three healthy meals a day.
Tony Hamilton, Chief Executive of Celtic FC Foundation, said: “It was another incredible night in London and the generosity of our supporters was extraordinary.
“Thanks to pre-dinner drinks sponsor, Danny O’Neill, after party sponsor Radisson RED Glasgow, everyone who donated prizes for the auction and silent auction and gifts for the goody bags, Sir Kenny Dalglish, Henrik Larsson, Stiliyan Petrov, Scott Brown, Sir Rod Stewart, Donna Taggart, the Troubadours, Joesef, Jamali Maddix, Jacqueline Brown, Des McKeown and our magnificent co-hosts, Chris Sutton and Shebahn Aherne.
“And last but not least, thank you to each and every one of our guests who attended and helped make it a night to live long in the memory.”
Please don’t ever underestimate the difference you have made.