Held at Luton Hoo, the luxury hotel & spa that donated the venue for the event, the fine dining menu was prepared for 280 guests by chefs: Vince O’Toole, Kevin Clark, Robert Chambers, Henry Brosi and Sarah Harnett. The sell-out evening was compèred by Brian Turner, who has supported the event for a number of years.
Heading up the brigade of chefs was Andrew Bennett MBE, Executive Chef from The Sheraton Park Lane Hotel, London.
Andrew and his wife Liz, who organised the event with the help of a team of volunteers, said: “This year’s dinner was called ‘1 in 3’ to highlight the desperate need for more palliative care for children. With limited resources, Keech Hospice can currently only support 150 children or just ‘1 in 3’, which means there are at least 250 families left to cope with a very sick child on their own.
“Thanks to the generosity of our guests and sponsors, as well as the team of chefs who donated their time so freely, the event has raised a phenomenal £48,000 – this is enough to provide a specialist nurse for Keech for an entire year to help care for sick children and their families.
“I would like to personally thank everyone involved for coming together to make this a truly memorable occasion. The Keech Hospice fundraising dinner takes place bi-annually and generated £25,000 in 2012 – so, this year’s result is a fantastic leap and one that will make a huge difference to the children and families that rely on Keech Hospice’s services in their time of need.”
Mike Keel, Chief Executive of Keech Hospice Care said: “The evening was a huge success and thoroughly enjoyed by all. The generosity of those involved was incredible and we thank them all for giving up their time for free; from the talented chefs, the Barnfield College students who served for us and the wonderful Beechwood School choir, not to mention Luton Hoo for donating their venue. Organisers Andy and Liz Bennett all certainly gave us a night to remember whilst raising a magnificent £48,000 for Keech. Thank you to all!”
Guests at the ‘1 in 3’ dinner enjoyed a five-course menu served by catering students from the nearby Barnfield College, Luton: