Summer ball raises vital funds for children's charities

A masquerade ball in Burnley raised the magnificent total of £3,000 for a charity dedicated to finding a cure for genetic disorders in children.

Hosted by the GEM Appeal, hundreds of guests attended the event at Turf Moor.

Some of the Lancashire Lads from Graham Engineering who took part in the Benidorm or Bust rally with Burnley Express reporter Sue Plunkett

Some of the Lancashire Lads from Graham Engineering who took part in the Benidorm or Bust rally with Burnley Express reporter Sue Plunkett

Traditionally the charity's summer ball is held in Rochdale, where it was founded in 1994, but this year chairman Karen Johnson chose Burnley.

This was in response to the support the charity has received from businesses in Burnley and Pendle, including Nelson's Graham Engineering.

Last month eight colleagues from there, who called themselves the Lancashire Lads, took part in a Benidorm or Bust rally and raised £2,500 for the charity.

The eight, who were Ian Fraser, Chris Hogan, John Harrison, Mark Wolstenholme, Mark Fitzpatrick, Paul Ashworth, Ian Dawes and Steve Fagan made the 1,400 mile from Dover to Benidorm in two customised black cabs.

All members of the Welding Institute, the guys have raised around £30,000 in recent years for the GEM Appeal through a series of different events including race nights and a regular sponsored bike ride to Blackpool.

The Benidorm or Bust rally was organised by Ian who also hosted the ball.

Guests enjoyed a four course meal and were entertained by singer Gavin Young and up and coming local band The Switch.

There was a raffle and auction and some of the proceeds from the evening will be donated to Derian House children's hospice in Chorley.