On the 24th November, Project Harar held their annual Gala Dinner at the Sheraton Grand Park Lane!

The evening kicked off with a bit of magic in the air – guests were greeted with a drinks reception, music from Charlie Hole and some wonderful magic tricks.

Our Founder, Jonathan Crown took to the stage to speak about Project Harar. We then had a warm welcome and thanks by Mimi St John-Austen, our Executive Director, followed by a speech by our Trustee, Marcel Chad, who spoke of his motivation to join the charity earlier this year. Catherine Collins, one of our dedicated nurses who has volunteered with Project Harar for over 6 years, delivered an inspiring and heart-warming speech – moving many of the audience to a standing ovation. The guests were shown a short film put together by Lloyd Ludgrove and Matt Fisher about our 2018 Complex Surgical Mission.

The Live auction shortly followed – which generated a lot of excitement! Prizes included fantastic holidays, exclusive artwork and unique experiences. One art piece included was painted by our late Patron, Sir John Hurt, donated by his widow and our Patron, Lady Anwen Hurt. Anwen gave a heartfelt speech about his self-portrait – the first of his work to be sold publically. The auction ended on a high, when over £50,000 was donated to help pay for complex facial surgery and treatment, and to provide treatment for many of our cleft patients.

Amidst the events of the evening (and a delicious three-course dinner), guests were also bidding for our silent auction prizes, and an incredible £23,000 was raised from this alone.

The night came to a close with guests dancing until 1am. The dinner was a huge success, and we are delighted to announce that the grand total raised is over £180,000! This is a record amount, and it is all thanks to our supporters and The Big Give match-funding scheme, generously supported by Ethiopiaid.

Every donation will help us to treat even more children in Ethiopia with complex facial disfigurements and increase access to life-changing surgery and comprehensive care for children with cleft lip and palate.We’d like to say thank you to everyone who donated, our prize donors, dinner committee and special thanks to our volunteers who worked tirelessly throughout the evening to ensure the event ran smoothly.

So once again, thank you everyone who donated and attended the Gala Dinner – your support is very much appreciated!