Stars came out to celebrate the life of inspirational teenager Josie Grove at the annual Dragonfly Ball.
Former Steps singer Faye Tozer performed a dazzling set at the lavish event held at Close House in Northumberland, which is expected to raise thousands of pounds in memory of cancer victim Josie.
The 16-year-old, of Corbridge, Northumberland, set up Josie’s Dragonfly Trust in 2007 in the last few weeks of her life. It had the simple aim to brighten the lives of those also living with a terminal diagnosis of cancer.
The Trust now supports hospitals across the UK by providing “Dragonfly Dreams” and cash gifts to young patients with no hope of a cure. These are used for last minute wishes, helping to create special memories with family and friends.
The annual Dragonfly Ball is one of the biggest events in the charity’s calendar and this year’s was bigger and better than ever before with around 270 people attending.
Sarah Hogg, fundraiser for the charity, said: “It was a massive success. Last year just over 100 people came but this year we had 270 so it was quite a big increase.
“The auction and the entertainment went really well and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. As well as the fundraising aspect it was a celebration of how far the charity has come.”
Now in its sixth year the Trust has gone from strength-to-strength and following sell-out events the Dragonfly Ball was this year held in a marquee in the grounds of Close House.
Guests at the ball, which was sponsored by Kids 1st Nurseries, were treated to performances from Faye, who was also joined on stage by entertainer Paul Pashley, who provided the soundtrack to the evening accompanied by his swing band.
“The dance floor was packed all night. Both Paul and Faye are patrons of the charity and they did around five songs together and Faye also did a song on her own. Everyone absolutely loved them,” said Sarah.
She added: “It was a huge success all round and the marquee was decorated beautifully with special dragonfly wallpaper and bird cages.
“We don’t know how much has been raised in total yet but we raised about £10,000 in the auction alone.”
Josie died aged 16 in February 2007 after turning down treatment for acute myeloid leukaemia to get the most out of her dying days.
Since then the Dragonfly Trust has been developed by parents Jacqui and Cliff plus a team of helpers and it has handed out almost 500 cash gifts of £500 to terminally-ill children across Britain. For more information, visit www.josiesdragonfly.org