Cardiff black-tie dinner to boost funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK

Posted on 17th March 2015

A black-tie dinner and dance will be held in the elegant surroundings of Cardiff’s Hilton Hotel on Friday 10 April to boost funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK. The formal fundraiser has been organised by city businessman Chris Case.

The 28 year old hopes to raise at least £10,000 for pioneering dementia research in honour of his grandfather, food entrepreneur Stanley Thomas Snr. The 97 year old, who built up a successful Merthyr-based pie-making business and later was a chairman to the Peter’s Pies empire, was diagnosed with dementia two years ago.

Chris Case with his grandfather Stanley Thomas Snr
Chris Case with his grandfather Stanley Thomas Snr

Chris is organising the event through his family-run property investment company Hollybush Properties Ltd and with the help of his cousin Stephanie Davies. Guests will be treated to a three-course meal and entertainment from singer and West End star Sophie Evans and Richie Jones and his eight-piece swing band. As well as a percentage of ticket sales, money for the charity will be raised through an auction and raffle, with golf days, spa breaks and sporting experiences among the prizes. As well as the chance to train with both the Cardiff Blues rugby team and legendary boxing coach Enzo Calzaghe, sporting memorabilia from boxing greats Joe Calzaghe and Nathan Cleverly and Welsh international rugby stars Jamie Roberts and Leigh Halfpenny will also be up for grabs.

Professor Julie Williams, Chief Scientific Adviser for Wales, will give a talk about her research at Cardiff University and Alzheimer’s Research UK, which funds some of her work.

Chris explained his reasons for organising the event in support of the UK’s leading dementia research charity:

“My grandfather, who was born in Merthyr Tydfil, was a PT instructor in the Navy and taught soldiers how to parachute from planes and land correctly. While stationed in Edinburgh he met my grandmother and they had their two sons, my uncles Sir Stanley Thomas Jnr and Peter Thomas CBE. They later returned to Merthyr where my mother, Mary, was born and he and my grandmother started a small business making pies which grew over the years to become one of the most successful family businesses in South Wales.

“My grandfather gave a lot back to his local community over the years, which led to him being awarded an MBE and the freedom of the borough of Merthyr. He was a strong, respected man who maintained a high level of physical fitness all through his life. Even up until the age of 95 he was still in the gym twice a week. Sadly, we’ve seen a rapid decline in him over the last two years and he’s now a resident in an assisted living complex called Sunrise of Cardiff. He lives in a specialised dementia care unit called Reminiscence. The team there are fantastic and give him the constant care and attention he needs. Last year they were actually awarded the best dementia care unit in the UK.

“In addition to seeing my grandfather going through what he has with the disease, it was also seeing the many other people at Sunrise who are living with dementia, and the affect this has on them and their families that made me want to organise this event. It’s received fantastic support from local businesses and is set to be a great evening. Hopefully we’ll raise lots of money and awareness for Alzheimer’s Research UK.”

Jodie Vaughan, Community Fundraising Manager at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“We are thrilled that Chris and the rest of the team at Hollybush Properties Ltd have decided to support Alzheimer’s Research UK’s vital work to defeat dementia. By hitting their £10,000 fundraising target, they’ll be helping to fund 500 hours of pioneering dementia research, bringing us closer to finding ways to diagnose, prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

“There are 850,000 people across the UK living with dementia today, including nearly 4,000 people in Cardiff. Dementia poses one of the greatest threats to public health now and in the future but funding still lags significantly behind other serious diseases. We rely on wonderful supporters like Chris and the team to fund our world-class research and the money raised from the black-tie dinner and dance will make a big difference.”

For more information about the event or to buy tickets, email chris@hollybushproperties.com. For further information about Alzheimer’s Research UK, or to find out more about fundraising for the charity, call 0300 111 5555 or visit www.alzheimersresearchuk.org

Posted in Fundraising news