The PFC Trust Gala was held at Hartlepool College of Further Education. Pictures: Ashley Foster, courtesy of PFC Trust
The first PFC Trust Green & Blue Fundraising Gala incredibly secured more than £110,000 for the people of Hartlepool and beyond.
That is the staggering figure raised at the black-tie PFC Trust event held at a stunning Hartlepool College of Further Education on Saturday night.
And the charity, set up by Frances and Patrick Connolly after winning the EuroMillions Lottery in 2019, will now put that money back into the town, the Tees Valley and the North-East.
Frances, whose charity has already invested more than £400,000 in supporting local people, said: “It was absolutely fantastic. This is just the start of many more events we have coming up to help create a much brighter future for Hartlepool.
“We are really enthused by the positivity around Hartlepool, the surrounding areas and this is a perfect example of what can be achieved.
“To have raised more than £100,000 from our first gala is just incredible and I want to say thank you to everyone who has supported this idea.
“We are all excited now to see how with this money the PFC Trust can help towards improving the lives and life chances of more and more local people.”
Almost 250 people were at the PFC Trust Green & Blue Fundraising Gala, including world boxing champion Savannah Marshall, Baroness Grey-Thompson, Jill Mortimer MP and Hartlepool United chairman Raj Singh.
There were leading figures from Hartlepool Borough Council and the Hartlepool and Tees Valley business community, incluing Steel Benders, Build Directory and Academy Landscapes.
And representatives from the PFC Trust’s sister charity in Northern Ireland – the Kathleen Graham Trust – were in attendance too.
As well as a silent auction for many exclusive items there was a luxury raffle to win a number of prizes, including a ladies Rolex watch worth £6,000.
There was entertainment from singers and magicians as well as Hartlepool’s very own Amy Richardson’s Dance Studio, whose Emily Barnard stunned the crowd with her voice.
PFC trust founder Frances Connolly with chairman Shaun hope
Shaun Hope, the chairman of the PFC Trust, said: “The figure we raised has blown me away. I cheekily put it out there during the build-up that we should target £100,000 and I actually couldn’t believe it when we had reached £102,000 without the silent auction.
“It is truly phenomenal and largely because everything was donated. Nobody asked for any money for the prizes we had on offer, the College didn’t charge to host the event, the caterers only charged cost price – this was just how much everyone wanted to help.
“We want to say thank you to everyone.
“We don’t do things in isolation, we do things in partnership. It is great that the PFC Trust will get the recognition but it is through our partnerships, like with other charities, that we have managed to achieve this.
“And the biggest thank you is to the army of volunteers who made it work. We had 40 different volunteers all chopping away to make things run smoothly. When everyone was nursing a hangover on Sunday morning, they were all back at the College cleaning up.”
The PFC Trust, which was created to help the people of Hartlepool, will be announcing more big plans in the weeks ahead.
*If you would like to work with the PFC Trust or have more information about the charity then check out www.thepfctrust.org