Blog. Cheshire Hoteliers Association Halloween Ball
October 25, 2023 | Author: Giuliana Vittiglio
Just under a week ago the Cheshire Hospitality Association (CHA) Ball made a triumphant return after a four year hiatus. The Halloween themed extravaganza was a rip-roaring success and raised over £11,000! We caught up with Richard Morrell, General Manager, De Vere Cranage Estate and Chair of the CHA to find out more.
What does Hospitality Action mean to you?
It means everything to me as it is our industry charity. Over my 40 years of working in hospitality, I have seen example after example of how the charity makes a difference to colleagues who need support for reasons of which many are beyond their control. I will never forget the smiles and the laughs on my colleague April McCraig's face after HA granted many of her wishes before she sadly passed away.
You have been a member of our Northern Fundraising Board for many years, what are some of your highlights?
I have been involved and organised many fundraising balls for the charity with lots of fond memories. However, last Friday was the first Cheshire Hospitality Ball after Covid and one of the best moments for me was to see normality back and our annual event finally resurrecting from the ashes!! I thought it was never going to happen again. It was quite emotional when the local dance school took to the stage and wowed the audience with an amazing performance of Thriller. I knew then the last 10 months organising the event was all worthwhile! Particularly when the room stood and gave a standing ovation.
Tell us about the Cheshire Hospitality Association (CHA) Halloween Ball.
The CHA Ball was formed back in 2014 by myself, when I got a few local Hotel Managers together to see it we could make a difference by organising an event. I wanted to “mirror” the success from my involvement in Manchester with the Manchester Hotel Association Balls by raising money for HA. Our first Ball took place at Nunsmere Hall Hotel in Cheshire with over 100 guests. It was then onwards and upwards and the ball moved around the county and was hosted at the following hotels; De Vere Cranage Estate, Park Royal Hotel Warrington, Carden Park, Queens Chester and The Courthouse in Knutsford. Sadly, in March 2020 we had to abandon plans for an Event at Shrigley Hall due to Covid. Over this period, we have raised almost £80,000.
The CHA Ball is built around a simple but very effective model and has only two objectives: 1) To ensure all our hospitality heroes who attend have a fantastic night with great Food, Beverage, and Entertainment. 2) All monies raised go to HA and any supplier who wants to be involved must provide their services free of charge to maximise our fundraising.
Would you encourage others to fundraise for Hospitality Action?
Absolutely. Our industry, for the vast majority who works in it, provides a rewarding and enjoyable career. However, there is a small minority, and it is not their fault, who need our support. I would encourage all hospitality professionals to get involved, however small the contribution. Any support will go a long way to help less fortunate colleagues have a helping hand to get their careers back on track!
Firstly, it is important to thank individually all the suppliers who have sponsored the event and seek commitment for 2024. Then debrief with my team what we did well and what we can do better at next year’s Ball. I then wish to plan other day to day fundraising activities at our Hotel. With Christmas approaching, we are currently planning the HA Christmas cloakroom appeal, with over 2000 party covers expected to attend in December, this gives us a great opportunity to fundraise and provide more support.
Many thanks to Richard and everyone who made last week’s CHA Ball such a raving success. The £11,000 raised will be put to the best possible use, supporting those in our industry in crisis. If you’d like to follow Richard’s example and host a fundraising event of your own, please get in touch.