Gala exhibition and auction will help three key charities

lego camera

Local businesses throughout the North West have stepped forward to help a charity event which promises to be the biggest fundraising gala of the year.

Project 100-to-1 will feature a grand auction of promises as the highlight of the day at The Villa at Levens, the north’s newest celebration venue, on Sunday (September 6).

Three charities will benefit from the funds raised: Macmillan Cancer, Bay Search and Rescue, and the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

The event is being organised by Kendal photographer Glynis Bland who has taken portraits of people born over one hundred years, from 1915 to 2014. Among them is baby Stanley Taylor who had a successful open heart operation at Alder Hey, and whose story prompted Glynis to start the project. The exhibition will be staged for this one day only.

Businesses are offering almost 50 items and promises for the auction, including dinners at some of the region’s top restaurants, a food-smoking course, open-water guided swims, car valeting, afternoon teas, luxury products – and a laptop computer. A massive collage of all the portraits will be revealed on the day and will then be included in the auction. It features a “rogue” image which guests at the event will be asked to spot.

Organiser Glynis Bland said that the response had been wonderful. “We have some very generous people in this area who are happy to help with auction prizes and offerings.”

The event will also feature music, food and stalls run by a select group of businesses. It also provides visitors with an early opportunity to experience the hospitality offered at The Villa, which is aiming to be one of the north’s top venues for weddings, parties and celebrations.

“We are very pleased to be hosting this important charity fundraiser,” said manager Stewart McIntosh. The Villa is a restoration of a 140 year old Victorian house which will feature 22 hotel bedrooms furnished to five star standards, a hall for ceremonies and smaller functions, and a spectacular wedding pavilion.

Glynis set up the project after taking photographs of baby Stanley before and after his operation. “His story touched my heart and I wanted to do something practical to help,” she said.

Her subjects come from all over the country, with the majority based in the North-West.  “My subjects didn’t need to provide any biographical details apart from their age, but the exhibition and the book will have one sentence from each answering the question: What could you not live without?”

Among the portraits is Macmillan Cancer fund-raising manager Sue McDonald, along with several members of her family.

The Bay Search and Rescue Team created a Lego logo to help promote the event, for their online “tiny team” site which has a cult following on social media.

Glynis, a keen horse-rider and skier, has developed a specialism for family and children’s portraits, and photographs of people with their pets. “I want to capture the images, moments and memories that people can share with their family and friends and cherish forever.”

Entry to the event, which starts at noon on Sunday, is free. The auction is scheduled to begin at 1.30pm, and the auctioneer will be Kevin Kendal from 1818 Auctioneers.

Traditional Sunday lunch will be served in the restaurant, 12-3pm, and soft drinks, teas and coffees will be available. 

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