ILKLEY Candlelighters May Ball took place at Rudding Park with the theme of ‘An Enchanted Evening’.

Guests were greeted at the venue with a champagne reception and jazz music.

They went on to dig deep into their pockets to win some fabulous prizes in the Top Hat Draw, such a three month supply of Grandma Wilds biscuits and tea to a Weber BBQ.

All prizes were generously donated by various local businesses and people. In addition during the evening there was a jewellery raffle, silent auction and auction.

The dining room in the marquee was beautifully decorated with every table featuring a golden tree with one lucky winner per table getting to keep the tree.

The evening was smoothly compered by Mr Jon Hammond. The first guest speaker was Cleo Tasker who movingly recounted to guests the journey her young son Ralph and her family has been through since his cancer diagnosis.

Guests heard how he was literally hours from death but now he is on the road to recovery, back at school and in his final year of chemotherapy.

Because of research - one of the major areas Ilkley Candlelighters donate to - this little boy is still with his family.

Eighty per cent of children now survive most childhood cancers. Research in Leeds is at the cutting edge and internationally acclaimed. Cleo spoke movingly about the facilities at the Children’s Oncology Unit at Leeds General Infirmary provided by Candlelighters and which are there for all the family, including accommodation, holidays for families, therapy for patients, parents, siblings and grandparents.

Play therapists and play equipment are provided as well as items for teenage patients. It is very much a whole family centred approach. Following on from Cleo was a short talk by Dr Bob Phillips, one of the paediatric consultants at LGI.

He reaffirmed what Cleo had said explaining that facilities provided by Candlelighters for families were the important ‘extras’ the NHS cannot stretch to.

After a delicious dinner of smoked salmon fish cakes, roast chicken, dauphinoise potatoes and mushroom Wellington, followed by toffee and caramel cheesecake (vegetarian - pepper and courgette tart, butternut squash and thyme risotto) there was music from the DeadBeats and the dance floor was packed.

In addition a casino run by the Rotary Club of Wetherby and the ever popular games room were available for less energetic guests or as a welcome rest for dancers.

An Ilkley Candlelighters spokesperson said: “At the moment the preliminary profit (after all costs) stands at over £30,000. Ilkley Candlelighters would like to thank all our sponsors, businesses and people who have donated prizes and all our supporters.

“The Committee who at the moment number eight should also be congratulated for all their hard work putting on this event. For more information about Ilkley Candlelighters and our 2020 Ball please visit”