The Children’s Charity Ball, an annual event organised and hosted by Mandy Molby and Claire Gallagher, was held at Thornton Hall Hotel, Wirral on Saturday, November 16. The event raised crucial funds to support Variety’s work with disabled, sick and disadvantaged children and young people in the local area.

The evening’s entertainment came from Manchester’s Heather Small (M People) and Liverpool’s X Factor finalist Marcus Collins.

The fundraising highlight of the evening was a donation of 15 original prints and one large print from world-renowned artist Mackenzie Thorpe. The limited edition prints depict a father and son standing in front of the famous Shankly Gates at Anfield, the home of Liverpool FC. The funds raised by Mackenzie’s art work will fund a Variety Sunshine Coach for Hilbre High School in Wirral.

Variety Young Ambassador Dante Marvin was on hand to thank all the guests for their support for the Ball and to thank Mandy and Claire personally for sponsoring his new wheelchair, which was bought from funds raised at the Ball last year.

Special thanks go to sponsors “Durastic Seaking” and “Integral” for their continued support each year to the Ball, and also to the” Festive group” who decorated the room.

A high point of the night was the moment when Peter Moore, CEO Liverpool FC, auctioned off a private dinner party for 40 people at Thornton Hall in 2020 with himself, Jamie Carragher, Jan Molby and John Barnes – all ex-Liverpool football legends – as hosts. Plus Peter brought along two amazing, money-can’t-buy items of Liverpool memorabilia on the night, which raised substantial amounts of money.

Lyn Staunton, Development Director of Variety, North West Region, commented: “We are humbled and honoured to have the support of Mandy and Claire who work so hard all year to make the Ball the great success it always is. We are extremely grateful to Mackenzie Thorpe for the wonderful art work he donated, and all the fantastic people who donated prizes for the auction/raffle on the night. All funds raised on the night will go to help local children and young adults and their families here in Merseyside northwest. The money will be used to fund wheelchairs, specialised equipment and Sunshine Coaches as well as creating memorable childhood experiences through the Variety at Work scheme.”