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Charity ball in memory of Norfolk man raises £50k for Make A Wish

PUBLISHED: 12:55 25 June 2019 | UPDATED: 13:24 25 June 2019

John Buckman Foundation Charity Ball 2019. Picture: The John Buckman Foundation/Sam J. Cook Photography

John Buckman Foundation Charity Ball 2019. Picture: The John Buckman Foundation/Sam J. Cook Photography

The John Buckman Foundation/Sam J. Cook Photography

A charity ball held in memory of a Norfolk man who died of cancer has raised thousands of pounds for a charity supporting children with life-threatening illnesses.

John Buckman Foundation Charity Ball 2019. Picture: The John Buckman Foundation/Sam J. Cook PhotographyJohn Buckman Foundation Charity Ball 2019. Picture: The John Buckman Foundation/Sam J. Cook Photography

The John Buckman Foundation is donating £50,000 from its first fundraising ball to the charity Make A Wish Foundation.

The ball, with more than 300 attendees, was held on Saturday, May 25, at Sennowe Park, a year to the day since Watton entrepreneur Mr Buckman lost his battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain tumour, aged just 54.

Rebecca Buckman, 24, who organised the event and launched the foundation in memory of her late father, said: "When my dad was sitting in the waiting rooms for his treatment he couldn't help but notice all the young children who surrounded him, suffering from cancer and other diseases.

"He would come home and be so furious that young children were being affected by these illnesses.

John Buckman Foundation Charity Ball 2019. Picture: The John Buckman Foundation/Sam J. Cook PhotographyJohn Buckman Foundation Charity Ball 2019. Picture: The John Buckman Foundation/Sam J. Cook Photography

"Dad getting so angered by the young children suffering from the same disease as he had has been the driving force of working with the Make A Wish Foundation.

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"The children they support are often enduring things most of us could never imagine. They go through gruelling treatment, endless medical appointments and spend time in hospital away from their home, friends and family - a far cry from the childhoods they should be enjoying."

The ball raised a total of £138,644.89, with £50,000 going to Make a Wish Foundation, and the remaining £15,000, after the cost of the event, being split between other charitable causes.

John Buckman Foundation Charity Ball 2019. Picture: The John Buckman Foundation/Sam J. Cook PhotographyJohn Buckman Foundation Charity Ball 2019. Picture: The John Buckman Foundation/Sam J. Cook Photography

Attendee Neil Sturman added: "The foundation was set up by John's eldest children, Rebecca and James Buckman.

"The ball was the first event and it's certainly set a massive bench mark for them and the foundation.

"John was a very close friend and he would have been so proud of them. The stunning, amazing auction prizes and the amount of money people paid showed how much John meant to them."

Auction prizes included a Carribean island holiday, for £22,000, and a villa holiday, for £10,000, as well as an acrobatic flying experience.

John Buckman Foundation Charity Ball 2019. Picture: The John Buckman Foundation/Sam J. Cook PhotographyJohn Buckman Foundation Charity Ball 2019. Picture: The John Buckman Foundation/Sam J. Cook Photography

Miss Buckman, chairman of the John Buckman Foundation, thanked auctioneer Simon Evens, as well as Abacus Marquees Litcham, and caterers Brasted's.

She added: "The Foundation is currently going through the process of attaining our charity registration number."

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