A WOMAN who was inspired by her own daughter to help a children’s charity has helped organise an event which raised a staggering £129,000.
Kellie Charge, of Ketton, became involved with the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation when her daughter Lucy, now nine, needed a liver transplant at five months old.
She is now a trustee and every two years helps organise a gala dinner, where 380 guests are treated to a four-course meal with each course designed by a top chef.
This year’s event raised £129,000 and was held at the Savoy hotel in London in March.
Kellie said: “I became a trustee quite a few years ago and helped organise the first dinner in 2003. At that dinner we were hoping to raise £25,000 and ended up getting £68,000.
“We were overwhelmed at this latest dinner because we thought we would do well to get £100,000 with the current economic climate so to go so much over that is just incredible. We were all blown away.”
Kellie, who is married to Tim, said the success was thanks to the support of top chefs, including James Martin who has been involved at every event. This year he offered to cook a meal at his own home and included a ride in one of his own sports cars, which was just one of a number of amazing auction lots.
Kellie said: “We are very lucky to continue to have the support of so many fantastic chefs.
“We had chefs at each table who moved around between each course so guests got the chance to chat to some of them. It was a really wonderful night.”
The menu was a seafood cocktail, designed by Tom Kitchin; poached fillet of lemon sole, carrots and pea shoots in a bouillabaisse jus by Daniel Galmiche; loin of lamb with sheep’s cheese and Aligot potato by Tom Aikens and classic lemon tart with sweet Perroche cheese by James Martin.
Lucy, who has an older sister Mollie, 14, was born with a serious liver disease called biliary atresia, which was diagnosed at three months old.
Although Lucy is now a pupil at Malcolm Sargent Primary School in Stamford, Kellie said she is still affected by her illness.
“Transplant is not a cure for the disease, it just alleviates it slightly. She has to take lots of tablets and is susceptible to viruses so she goes to hospital a lot.
“But she is just a delight and we think about our donor family every single day.
“We were one of the lucky ones but we know there are lots of families who aren’t so lucky and that’s why I’m so involved with the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation which offers support and research.”