Charities' delight at benefiting from Bobby Ball Foundation
Officials of two Fylde coast causes to benefit from a new charity in memory of comedian Bobby Ball have spoken of their delight at the prospect.
The Bobby Ball Foundation will support organisations for which Bobby, who died in October, was a passionate supporter and fund-raiser.
To launch it , two star-studded events are set to be held at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens in November – with major stars of stage and screen set to entertain in a variety performance in the Opera House on Friday, November 12 and a spectacular “Bobby Ball” in the Empress Ballroom 24 hours later.
All money raised will go to Lytham’s Lowther Pavilion and the Blue Skies Hospitals Fund at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, both of which had Bobby as a patron.
A statue of Bobby is proposed for Lowther Gardens in Lytham, and the Foundation will also help with fundraising for that.
Tim Lince, spokesman for the Lowther Trust, said: "Bobby was a great friend to Lowther and his passing leaves a gap where he once stood.
"The fact that his support will continue into the future is wonderful news and I’m sure will prove a welcome addition to the fundraising aims of Lowther to provide an iconic community arts centre for all residents and visitors alike."
Kila Redfearn, head of fund-raising for Blue Skies, said: "Bobby was one of our most loved patrons and we are so pleased that his fundraising work will go on, even after his very sad passing.
"All charities have had a tough last 12 months and this continuous fundraising will ensure that we can do even more to help patients, visitors, staff and carers here at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals in the years to come
"Bobby and his wife Yvonne were instrumental in fundraising for Blackpool Victoria and Clifton Hospitals and started by organising a charity concert at Lowther Pavilion that raised £30,000. This created the new dementia garden at Clifton Hospital
"We then asked Bobby and Yvonne if they would become our first ever patrons for Blue Skies, which they accepted instantly.
"They were always on board with our fundraising, specifically for our Christmas ‘Give a Gift’ appeals, where they were heavily involved in encouraging the general public to purchase an extra gift, to ensure every patient in our local hospitals woke up on Christmas morning with a present, which is no mean feat, as we have around 900 patients in hospital on Christmas Day
"I for one will miss hearing him coming down the main corridor for meetings, usually a little late, as he made sure he talked to everyone on his way in and left them all laughing and who knows, that might have been just the thing that patient/visitor needed that day to make life a little easier."
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