Wigan Youth Zone’s 2019 Annual Ball raised a staggering £75,000 at the DW Stadium on Saturday night.
Back for 2019, after a one year absence, the Annual Ball showcased the very best of Wigan Youth Zone’s young people with special acts throughout the evening.
The night was introduced by Wigan Youth Zone’s Chairman of the Trustees, Richard Ainscough, who invited two of Wigan Youth Zone’s founders – Dave Whelan and Martin Ainscough (Bill Ainscough was unable to attend) up onto the stage to say a few words having stood down from the board after ten years at the helm. Richard also took the opportunity to present Martin with the Lifetime Achievement Award which he recently won at the North West Charity Awards.
The evening had an ‘Around the World in One Night’ theme beginning in Las Vegas with performances from Dance Group, Project Impact, and singer Georgia Linde. The guests then sailed across the Atlantic to Paris with a contortionist performance by Connor Reeve followed by singer Gemma Unsworth performing ‘Les Mis’. At the end of the evening, the performances headed back to the States for a dance rendition all the way from New Orleans by Xpress.
During the evening, Head of Youth Work, Sikander Ali, invited brothers and WYZ members, Ethan and Leon Dandy, to discuss how Wigan Youth Zone has made a positive impact to their lives. This was followed by a speech by Gill Diggles who gave a compelling appeal for the life changing work going on at Wigan Youth Zone every single day.
The money on the evening was raised by auctions (noisy and silent), pledges and a raffle. Prizes included stunning jewellery, sporting experiences (including going on a scouting mission with Latics legend, Roberto Martinez), holidays, leisure activities and memorabilia – all of which was donated to the Youth Zone.
Chairman of the Trustees, Richard Ainscough said: “I am delighted that the Annual Ball has returned with such positivity, raising funds which will prove vital to the services of Wigan Youth Zone for the young people of our Borough.
“Thank you to everyone who made the night so successful – the youth zone team for their organisation, the young people for their stunning, brave performances, the charity board members past and present for their tireless endeavour and in particular our founders who have laid the foundations over the past ten years for us to build on. It is now up to us as a community to continue the legacy by ensuring the sustainability of the provision for the future.”
Executive Director, Anthony Ashworth-Steen added: “The Annual Ball was another night which showcased what Wigan Youth Zone is all about. The performances from the young people were exceptional, the stories moving and the generosity from the WYZ family of supporters inspirational.”