Sir Jackie Stewart helps to raise more than £50,000 at Celebration of Motorsport
Guest of honour Sir Jackie Stewart has helped children’s charity Action Medical Research race to success and raise more than £50,000 at its 21st annual Celebration of Motorsport Dinner.
The sold-out event welcomed 430 guests to the Culloden Hotel in Holywood on Friday, 4 December – with the racing legend in pole position to help raise the record amount.
Motorsport celebrities Jonathan Rea, Kris Meeke, Leon Haslam and Alastair Seeley joined the star-studded guest list at the event, which was organised by the SPARKS NI Motorsport Committee and supported by Tourism Ireland.
“This fantastic result is fitting for the anniversary year of our most high-profile fundraising event, and it’s testament to the hard work of the committee who made it happen,” says Carrie Benn, Action Medical Research’s Community Fundraising Manager for Northern Ireland.
“Over the past two decades the Celebration of Motorsport Dinner has raised more than £500,000 for vital research to help sick and disabled babies and children and the event just keeps getting bigger – and better – with each passing year.”
TV personality Pamela Ballantine, who chairs the committee, hosted interviews between courses with the star guests to get the lowdown on the year's highs and lows in the racing world.
The night also saw international rally organiser Bobby Willis (pictured below) revealed as the winner of the 2015 Contribution to Motorsport Award; recent victors have included Rally News' Brian and Liz Patterson, motorcycle racer Ryan Farquhar and motorcycle road racer Jeremy McWilliams.
The list of sporting stars who have attended the highlight of the racing calendar since its inception includes Damon Hill, Eddie Irvine, Sir Stirling Moss and Perry McCarthy, aka Top Gear's The Stig.
Among the auction prizes up for grabs at the glittering gala event was a day with the Bentley Motors race team, a weekend pass for two to a British Touring Car Championship event and a two-night stay at the Culloden Estate and Spa.
With the help of its supporters, Action Medical Research has played a significant role in many medical breakthroughs for more than 60 years, from the development of the first UK polio vaccines to the use of ultrasound in pregnancy.
It is currently funding research into meningitis, Down syndrome, epilepsy and premature birth, as well as some rare and distressing conditions that severely affect children.
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For high-res images from the Celebration of Motorsport Dinner, please click on the links below:
Sir Jackie Stewart at the Celebration of Motorsport Dinner:
Jonathan Rea, Leon Haslam, Pamela Ballantine and Jeremy McWilliams:
Kris Meeke hands the 2015 Contribution to Motorsport Award to Bobby Willis, with Pamela Ballantine:
Alastair Seeley being interviewed by Pamela Ballantine:
Colin Turkington being interviewed:
Kris Meeke being interviewed:
Maurice Hamilton, Jeanette Jardine, Sir Jackie Stewart OBE, Lady Helen Stewart and Tony Jardine:
NOTES TO EDITORS:
For more information on Action Medical Research, please contact Ellie Evans, Fundraising Communications Officer, on:
T: 01403 327480
Action Medical Research is a leading UK-wide charity working to save and change children’s lives through medical research. We believe that the diseases that devastate the lives of so many of our children can be beaten. We have been funding medical breakthroughs since we began in 1952 like the first polio vaccines in the UK, ultrasound in pregnancy and the rubella vaccine – helping to save thousands of children’s lives and change many more.
Just one breakthrough, however small, can mean the world. Charity reg. nos 208701 and SC039284.