Ikley Craiglands Hotel - Swing dance
A wonderful night at The Craiglands Hotel at Ilkley in W. Yorkshire. We were in the Ballroom and how lovely that looked - The evening had been planned a good few months before by the lovely Alex and Nigel Richards who had booked The Kalamazoo Dance Band to host a 40's Valentine's night in aid for fundraising for the Help4Homeless Veterans charity. I love these evenings, since the organisers are clearly very focused on helping any great cause of their choosing in any way they can irrespective of how much is raised and likewise I'm so priveliged to work with such a great team of musicians who so often and so readily give of their time to help support the organisers to achieve their objective. With that point in mind we, as Kal's Kats and The Kalamazoo Dance Band and The Regency Dance Orchestra have played a large number of events of the recent few years and helped by playing at significantly reduced rates or even freely to help many different causes. It also behoves me to know of situations of pure downright abuse of situations or responsibility such as Oxfam (which has always been a pillar of exemplar standing in the charity world - not now of course - and what irritates me even ore is when you know that some little old gent or lady will see the plight of children or folks in distress and will readily part with their much needed £2 to help said cause whilst being completely oblivious to the fact that some 'freeloader' executive within the charity has wilfully abused that very trust.
However, back to the matter in hand and what a night it was, every one looked fantastic in evening dress or 40's dress and they all sat down to a lovely dinner and drinks before stepping out to The Kalamazoo Dance Band who kicked the show off with 'One o clock jump' Thereafter, we played a wonderful selection of ballroom, sequence, Latin and jive numbers to keep everyone going nuts all night long.
There were bottle raffles and auctions all set to raise more money (funny that often people will say why did they all spend money on a lavish event and not just give money to charity - but this way it pulls everyone together and creates an environment of giving which probably wouldn't happen in isolated circumstances)
We also had guest singers including Pete Jones and Aimee Louise as well as Rachel Green (Airborne Angel) who actually paid into the charity to come along and sing their chosen song with the Kalamazoo Dance Band.
Lastly, our piece de resistance was being joined on Stage by Alex Richards as she and I sang 'Something Stupid' together which was really great fun.
Overall the evening raised £2018 which was very fitting considering it is obviously 2018 and we hope this collection is invested in a useful and meaningful way and supports those in need in the spirit it was intended.
Thanks to everyone for a really fabulous night every remembering the reason we were there in the first place!!
Here endeth .....:-)