Event of the Week: Trust Maria Christmas Party

January 11, 2014

Party Raises Money for Suffolk Hospices

Celebrations of all stripes are a good way to raise funds for a good cause, and festivities centered on holidays are no different. On 20th December, Trust Maria held their Charity Christmas Party to fundraise for hospices in Suffolk.

The party, which took place at Stowmarket Town Football Club, featured a performance from band 23X and auction and raffle prizes such as the installation of heated car seats and signed CDs. Party organiser Harvey McSloy says that the successful event allowed them “to smash our first financial target to raise an outstanding £3,023.55.” Recently, the organization was able to provide a grant of £5,000.00 to St. Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich.

23X is a three-piece band made up of percussionist Aaron Hall, singer and guitarist Greg Fitch, and singer and bassist Jason Dighton. They perform a wide variety of musical styles and have experience with rock, cabaret, jazz, funk, soul, and R & B, among others. McSloy notes that the “most memorable moment of the evening” happened when “one of our trustee’s, whose wife the charity is named after, got up on stage with the band and played a couple of songs with them. No one else even realised it was going to happen.”

The slogan for Trust Maria, “helping the hospices,” exemplifies their goal “to assist in the relief of sickness and the preservation and protection of health by the provisions of grants to hospices in Suffolk for facilities and equipment not normally provided by the statutory authorities.”

They do it all in the memory of Maria McSloy, who was diagnosed with cancer in February 2010. Doctors found a melon-sized tumor, and by the time they were able to operate she needed several procedures. Along with removing the tumor, surgeons had to give her a full hysterectomy, remove part of her colon, and clean her stomach and bladder. McSloy passed away on 13th July two years later, and the charity is dedicated to raising “as much as we can in her memory and giving back the love and generosity she gave us all.”

Word of mouth, Facebook, and publicity in a local magazine were all used to let people know about the event, though they believe word of mouth worked best. McSloy adds that planning went smoothly and they were able to meet their goal of providing “a fun, family packed evening for the local community whilst raising funds for our charity and helping out some wonderful causes.”

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