November 22, 2023

£50,000 raised at magical winter extravaganza is record-breaking fundraiser for the Starr Trust

This year’s Winter Extravaganza marked the Starr Trust’s 15th Birthday and turned the classic charity ball format on its head with an all new multi-act, cabaret themed event for guests to enjoy. 

Held on 18th November at the DoubleTree by Hilton Brighton Metropole, with Rubix VT as headline sponsor, and supported by Ryan Heal, MD of Best of British Events, the night raised just in excess of £50,000 net of all costs, which will all go directly into supporting young people aged 10-25 years old who are struggling to overcome roadblocks in their lives. 

The evening commenced with a sparkling drinks reception kindly sponsored by Highweald English Sparkling Wine, whilst vocalist Edie Poyner and guitarist Robin Jones entertained with a stunning performance. Host Guy Lloyd, suitably dressed in top hat and tails, invited guests to follow him into the Regency Suite joined by Sharon Starr singing Come to the Cabaret. The Suite had been transformed with opulent cabaret décor created by Fabricate and Mascol Events.

Co-host and Ambassador of the Starr Trust, Jason Burrill, led the fundraising and introduced 19-year-old Mackenzie who was previously supported by the Starr Trust and confidently spoke on stage to over 300 guests about his journey with the Starr Trust, telling how the funding and support has enabled him to thrive in a career playing golf, having previously not been able to engage with school life. He has now become a coach and member of the PGA. 

Britain’s Got Talent Finalist, Ventriloquist Steven Hewlett, treated guests to a live performance involving an unassuming Sam Thomas from Sussex Business Times Magazine, who became part of an impromptu comedy act to entertain the audience. Then the live 8 piece funk band ‘Oomphf’ took to the stage and the dancefloor came alive as guests partied the night away to hits such as Tina Turner, Proud Mary and Bruno Mars, Uptown Funk.

Patron of the Trust, Olympic ice-skating legend Robin Cousins MBE attended the occasion and said: “It’s always great to feel the love for any charity when you’re at an event like this, but Saturday blew away expectations. Rob and the Starr Trust now have many new admirers who gave so generously, not only on the night, but will be hand in pocket for this entire coming year and are part of our Starr Trust family. What a way to celebrate their 15th anniversary!”

Nick Poyner, MD of Rubix VT and Headline Sponsor of the Winter Extravaganza said: We are always delighted to support the incredible work of the Starr Trust so we were very happy to be the Headline Sponsor of the Winter Extravaganza. As well as raising money to help young people achieve their goals, the night was great fun and very enjoyable. Congratulations to everyone at The Starr Trust and DoubleTree Hilton Brighton Metropole for putting on an amazing night. I was especially proud to hear my daughter Edie, along with Robin, entertain guests with fantastic sets in the VIP reception and on the main stage. We’ll definitely be back next year.”

Rob Starr, Founder & Chairman of the Starr Trust said: “A wonderful occasion amongst friends with both new and long-term supporters showing incredible support. The feedback we’ve had has been incredible, and I’d like to thank our generous headline sponsor Nick Poyner of Rubix VT, along with Ryan Heal, Jason Burrill and Guy Lloyd for their energetic showmanship on the night. We can’t thank the generous sponsors and guests enough for helping to raise these funds which will literally change lives.”

The Starr Trust would like to thank all guests who donated to sponsor a Starr, took part in the raffle and auction and generally supported on the night. 

Special thanks to all sponsors who made the event possible including;

Rubix VT, Creative Pod, Best of British Events, Seico, Eco Recruitment Group, Gemini Print, Highweald Wine, DoubleTree by Hilton Brighton Metropole, IT Document Solutions, Mascol Events, Apple Tree Nursery Schools, Devassist, EMC, Servo Private Wealth, Minty Ink, Cognitive Law, Eco Recruitment and Webtrends Optimize.