There are many ways to remember people we have lost. A Charity Ball in her husband’s memory is what Elaine Grey and her family set about arranging just a few months ago; and LLMF (Wales) was chosen to benefit from her hard work. This was a remarkable feat, especially since Elaine lost her husband David (Dai) less than a year ago, in August 2023.

As a result of Elaine’s efforts and the support of her family she amassed a substantial collection of items for auction and raffle at the Ball. Elaine was still receiving offers up to the day of the Ball. The 70 plus attendees enjoyed welcome drinks on arrival followed by a three-course dinner at the Village Hotel, Swansea. At each place setting was a small bottle of wine with a special label that carried a photograph of David and the words “Have a drink on me!”. Even though I did not know David, I had a sense of his hospitality with this gesture. It became apparent listening to stories during the meal that David was much loved and respected; also, that he would have so enjoyed this event! We all raised our glasses to him with a toast.

After the dinner, raffle tickets were drawn for the multitude of prizes that included a range of different vouchers, days out, an outdoor activity bundle, wine, champagne, and a portable karaoke machine. The karaoke machine was very quickly selected from the table of raffle prizes and even led to some suggestions to get it going. Then Spencer, Elaine’s son-in-law took up his auctioneer’s gavel to open bidding for the wide range of items available. The auction brought about much cheering and laughter as family members bid against each other to secure the winning bid. These included gift vouchers, golf prizes, a signed Swansea FC shirt, wine, overnight and weekend stays. With all the excitement of the auction over it was time for live entertainment from Brightside and later from the DJ with the dancing continuing until late.

Whilst there were some tears and sad memories for all who knew David, there was also plenty of laughter and many happy recollections to share: a fitting tribute indeed. Elaine’s wish had been to raise money for LLMF in David’s memory. She did this in style! The total raised at the Charity Ball was £4401. It was most definitely a success.

Elaine would like to extend her thanks to all who attended the Ball, and a special thank-you to all who donated. Additionally, she would like to recognise the generous support from her daughters, Jayne and Debbie, her sons-in law Spencer and Marcus, and all her grandchildren, namely, Matthew, Cerys, Ffion, Megan and Charlie. Elaine added, “Without their support the event wouldn’t have been as successful, and a special thank you to Spencer who did a splendid job as auctioneer, and Naomi Webborn of Dawsons for all her hard work on the presentation.”

Finally, on behalf of LLMF (Wales), I would also like to extend my thanks to Elaine and her family, to all those who contributed prizes, those who bought tickets to the ball, raffle tickets and of course those enthusiastic bidders in the auction. As a small charity whose focus is supporting the care of patients on the Haematology Day Unit at Singleton Hospital, we can assure you that this generous donation will be put to good use.

With thanks,

Karen Shreeve

Chair LLMF (Wales)