HIGH-QUALITY cabaret, tiaras and black ties combined to make for a successful fundraising night hosted by Gioia Minghella-Giddens.

The gala dinner at Northwood House was held in memory of Gioia's mother, Gloria Minghella, and raised more than £20,000 for Mountbatten and the Isle of Wight branch of the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

The evening of fine dining also saw cabaret performances by guitarist Phil Osmond, Steinway pianist James Longford and the internationally-acclaimed Miss Hope Springs (aka Ty Jefferies, son of star Lionel Jefferies).

Another of Gloria's daughters, jazz singer Edana Minghella, also performed with her band during the evening.

The event was organised by the Wight Charity Supporters committee of Sue Collinge, Julia Dams, Gioia Minghella-Giddens, Gill Kennett, Anne Longford and Gillian Phenix.

Guests were welcomed at a drinks reception and a short auction and raffle was conducted by Philip Shears.

Among the lots was a limited edition sculpture by an internationally-acclaimed sculptor with links to the Isle of Wight.

Alex Chinneck's hand-carved sculpture entitled 'Blood, sweat and tears with a twist of lemon' takes the form of a traditional domestic broom whose handle appears to have been tied into a knot.

Alex, whose wife Lu Flux is a fashion designer from Roud, attracts a global following and his temporary public art projects, lasting less than one month, have received more than one million visitors.

As well as supporting the charities, he is hoping to bring one of his projects to an Island seafront.

He said: "I am proud to be part of this night. My grandfather Bryn suffered from motor neurone disease and it is a cause which is personal to me. "

Mountbatten chief executive Nigel Hartley spoke of the unique partnership between his organisation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Gioia paid tribute to her mother, Gloria Minghella’s, life-long dedication to the community of the Isle of Wight and, as president of MNDA (IW) gave a brief outline of the support the local association gives to Islanders living with motor neurone disease.


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