An air of excitement was palatable at Preston Masonic Hall, for the 2022 Annual Charity Stewards’ Cabaret Dinner. Guests dressed in all their finery assembled at the hall for the much-anticipated return of the annual celebration in support of the charity stewards.
Provincial Grand Charity Steward Paul Shirley was on hand to welcome everyone to the hall and guests assembled in the bar area for pre-dinner drinks and to catch up with friends from all over the Province. With well over 100 guests in attendance, the conversation was light and frivolous as all waited for the main evening’s entertainment to begin.
Having assembled everyone in the dining rooms, Paul welcomed all to the cabaret dinner and the evening festivities began with the game of heads or tails at each table. At the toss of a coin those with hands on heads or hands on tails, were randomly whittled down until the last gentleman or lady remained standing as the winner, the prize being a fine bottle of wine. The fund-raising effort was off to a fine start.
The guests then settled down to a delicious three course dinner, with many commenting that the pumpkin soup was delicious, and those who had the pleasure of lamb equally scrumptious, by the time desert arrived endangered waistlines threatened.
On each table, white envelopes were distributed and guests encouraged to write their names on the envelopes and donate to enter the raffle. Having collected all of the envelopes from each table, they were entered into a giant tombola. Principal guest Mark Matthews’ wife Debbie was the glamourous assistant who drew the envelopes to announce the raffle winners with a fine prize table for the successful entrants to choose a prize.
Paul and regional charity steward Steve Ralph then revealed an amazing prize to be auctioned, it was a commemorative bottle of port from the Special Air Service and a challenge coin from 22 Regiment B Squadron, and after some frenzied bidding the auction was concluded and the worthy winner was invited to collect this wonderful item.
Paul then asked for Debbie and Mark, to come to the stage where they were presented with flowers, Mark then took to the stage and commented how nice it was to see everyone in attendance, supporting the occasion and enjoying themselves.
That was the cue for the evenings’ entertainment to begin with cabaret star Jason Stewart to take centre stage. Jason was extremely funny, with jokes and social commentary, intermixed with well-known songs and encouraged audience participation consisting of Mexican sombreros and song lyrics on signposts to be held up at the appropriate moment, laughter rang out across the hall.
During the interval, Paul Shirley thanked all for their fund-raising efforts in support of the dinner, announcing that over £1,500 pounds had been raised for charity, too much applause.
After a quick interlude, Jason resumed with entertaining the guests who were now in the party mood spilling onto the dance floor to enjoy the live musical entertainment, a fine evening enjoyed by all. The Annual Charity Stewards’ Dinner was a resounding success and everyone is very much looking forward to next year.