British actress Kara Tointon was one of a number of stars who helped raise £100,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation in the UK last weekend.

More than 300 guests attended the12th annual Make-A-Wish Summer Ball at the spectacular Blenheim Palace last Saturday, including actor Robert Powell, CBeebies’ Mr Tumble, Justin Fletcher MBE, singer Dionne Bromfield, ‘Secret Millionaire’ Caroline Marsh and Michelle Dewberry, winner of ‘The Apprentice’.

Guests were treated to a champagne reception in the Great Hall with its hand-painted murals and intricate tapestries before dinner was served in a special marquee in the palace grounds. Each year a celebrity supporter hosts the ball – warming up the crowd and recounting tales from just some of the wishes the charity grants annually to hundreds of deserving children. This year it was television presenter and Patron of Make-A-Wish, Keith “Cheggers” Chegwin.

After dinner an auction was held, in which bidders could bid for meets with celebrities, signed memorabilia and holidays of a lifetime. During the bidding, four of the Dragons from BBC’s Dragon’s Den (Duncan Bannatyne, Theo Paphitis, Peter Jones and Deborah Meaden) beamed in via video link to tell guests to dig deep in their pockets.

Guests then made their way back to the Great Hall, where they danced the night away with a special performance by the legendary Bill Wyman and his Rhythm Kings.

Make-A-Wish CEO Neil Jones says: “Our heartfelt thanks go out to our much-valued volunteer and Trustee Jayne Watson for organising this outstanding event, and to all those who attended. This year’s Summer Ball will help us enormously to grant even more magical wishes to the hundreds of children referred to Make-A-Wish this year.”

There are currently 20,000 children living in the UK with a life-threatening illness and Make-A-Wish believes that every one of these children deserves to experience the magic of a wish. We expect to grant over 700 wishes this year – to do so, we need to raise at least £5 million in 2010.

Source: Make-A-Wish UK

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