A charity ball hosted at Bourne Corn Exchange on Saturday night raised more than £4,500 for a girl born with an extremely rare disease.
Laura Powell organised Mia’s Ball in honour of Mia Clucas, who is one of only a few hundred people in the world to have Coffin-Siris Syndrome
A random mutation in her SMARCB1 gene means that Mia – now 19 months old – was born with an abnormal brain, which was diagnosed at five weeks.
As a result Mia also has microcephaly, hypotonia and epilepsy, meaning that reaching basic milestones such as sitting, crawling, walking and talking could take years of physiotherapy and training to achieve – but there’s a strong chance she’ll never get there.
Since the diagnosis, friends and family of Mia’s parents Andrew and Nikki Clucas have been fundraising for equipment to make her life as manageable as possible.
And Laura, whose husband James is a close friend of Andrew, was determined to do her bit.
And local businesses across Bourne and Spalding, where the Clucas family live, also helped by donating raffle prizes. Mill Farm Catering in Manthorpe served a two-course meal to the 90 guests there and Bourne-based band Revolver also played.
Laura, who lives in Horbling and went to school in Bourne, said she was “overwhelmed to have raised more than £4,500 from a relatively small event - more than double the £2,000 she initially targeted.
She said: “I was so anxious at the start of the event that it was going to be a success but it was absolutely fantastic.
“I was never going to run a marathon or climb a mountain but I just wanted to organise an event where all of Nikki and Andrew’s friends and family could just show how much they’re supporting them at a tough time.
“Raising funds for Mia was secondary to that but I’m so pleased we could raise so much for a beautiful and very special little girl. I can’t believe the amount we raised.”
In thanking the businesses that had helped, Laura said: “The help I got was just amazing - not a single business that I approached turned me down. Once they heard Mia’s story they were all willing to help.”
Andrew and Nikki, who announced at the event that they’re expecting a healthy baby brother for Mia in the Summer, said they were “humbled” at how generous the guests on Saturday were.
Andrew said: “Knowing that everybody was there to support Mia and her future is incredible and we genuinely can’t thank everybody who was involved enough.
“Special thanks obviously go to Laura, who has done a remarkable job organising everything. Hearing her describe how so many people and companies had pulled together to make sure Mia’s Ball was a success choked us up a little bit.
“Everything about the event was perfect and we’re proud to have all these people in our lives.”
Laura is now considering running the event annually.