On Friday 14th February, when most people are settling down for a cosy night in or heading out to a fancy restaurant, the wonderful people of Halifax were arriving at The Shay stadium for an evening of love, laughs and fabulous food in aid of Heartbeat of Sport.
The night was organized as a follow up to the successful 3 peaks walk where an incredible £3500 was raised in order to screen the hearts of all staff and players of Halifax RLFC.
Over 150 people came to show their support for the charity and enjoyed a beautiful 3 course meal provided by The Venue catering team. They sat amongst amazing lighting and room decorations kindly donated by local events company Prego Events, and enjoyed entertainment from brilliant comedian and compere, Pete Emmett.
During the meal, Pete kept with the valentines theme and asked guests to write a short message to their partner which was put in a bucket and later read out. We had a whole host of messages from first date compliments to 30 years of marriage confessions! We had declarations of love and some intentions of which we cannot share!
The night was a special in more ways than one. Not only did we reveal our first ambassador of the charity, but we had 2 VIP guest speakers. These VIP’s though, you may not have heard of, Mr. Lee Popplewell and Mr. Paul Clarke. The 2 are VIP’S to us and many more people; they are someone’s son, someone’s husband, someone’s father. They very bravely and very emotionally told of their battle with heart problems that have turned their life upside down.
Lee Popplewell spoke of his heart attack as a fit and healthy 36 year old and the amazing fundraising he has done in the wake of it, including a 10k run and the Bridlington half marathon for Heartbeat of Sport.
He is currently training for the London marathon 2014 with sponsorship going to another charity close to him, the RNLI.
Paul Clarke broke down in tears as he told of his heart condition Brugada Syndrome and how, after being a super fit sports man with a young family, one morning in February 2013 changed his life forever.
An auction was held too with items such as a signed Ricky Hatton boxing glove and a signed Paul Gascoigne framed picture, a nine course meal provided by award winning Design House Restaurant in Halifax and an executive banqueting package for 10 people to a Halifax RLFC game, donated by Charity founder Tony Abbott. Thank you to all those people.
We ended the night with a short but hilarious game of Mr and Mrs and found out just how little we knew about our better halves!
All in all the night was a huge success with over £2000 raised for Heartbeat of Sport.
Thank you to all who attended, donated and were involved in the night, your amazing support and generosity is overwhelming and will keep us going forward, changing and saving lives.