11 March 2013

Graeae raises £20,000 at Paragon fundraiser

On Thursday 21 February Paragon Management UK Ltd hosted a fundraising event in aid of Graeae at fashionable East London venue Cargo. Over the last few months, Graeae and Paragon have been working together developing an evening of top entertainment, which would introduce a whole new audience to Graeae’s work and ethos.

Over 300 people descended on Cargo for a night of comedy and live music featuring Francesca MartinezSteve Day, double act Gareth Berliner and Kiruna Stamell and Jen Brister. Two incredible sets of live music came from the Reasons to be Cheerful band and Ta Mère who rounded the evening off with a boot-stomping performance.

Thank you to everyone who entered our competition to win tickets to the event. Our winner was Sarah Piggott who won with her resolution ‘To realise three reasons to be cheerful every day. Today, the news of your exclusive event is definitely one of my reasons.’

We were also thrilled to be joined by Graeae Patrons Richard Wilson and Jenny Agutter as well as Jemima Dury. As always it was fantastic to have their encouragement and support. One of the highlights of the night was Jenny Agutter po-going with the best of them to the Reasons to be Cheerful band!

At the moment we are still waiting for the final count, but we hope to have raised around £20,000: this could make all the difference to our ambitions for our artistic programme in a year when all arts organisations are facing further cuts.

Matt Bray from Paragon said, ‘We took a leap of faith but we got it right and put together a fantastic evening of inclusive entertainment with the help of the wonderful staff team and performers from Graeae. The evening beat all expectations with £20,000 being raised through ticket sales, sponsorship, auction and raffle. It’s been a challenge for the Paragon team but it has also been great fun and very rewarding for us all.’