An evening on 27 February at the De Vere Hotel on Shaw Ridge raised over £5,000 for the Haiti earthquake appeal.
Organised jointly by the hotel and Peatmoor’s Bombay Lounge restaurant, nearly 200 people enjoyed a curry followed by desert served by hotel staff.
The event kicked off with a welcome by South Swindon MP Anne Snelgrove who congratulated the hotel and the Bombay Lounge for organising the fundraiser at short notice. "It will take a long time for Haiti to get back on its feet and its through the efforts of local businesses and support from individuals, as well as governments and voluntary organisations, that will make it happen."
DeVere general manager Andrew Spinks said that the evening was made all the more poignant because of the strong earthquake in Chile earlier in the day. "This was put together in under a month and we sold all the 180 tickets in just over two weeks.
"It really shows how quite a big event can quickly be brought together when people work together. The television images we saw in January were absolutely terrible and as the story drops off the media agenda, we have to remember the Haitians will continue to suffer for a long time; reconstruction is going to take years and the country needs as much money as possible.”
Bombay Lounge owner Hanif Robani said, “Andrew Spink and his staff and Pavinda who works with me did a great job pulling everything together. Everybody had a good time and we've made a small contribution to helping people with less than they did before the earthquake struck.
Dog trainer Janet Garrett, who runs Janet's Puppy Skool in Haydon Wick, said her twelve members had enjoyed a great evening. "We had been in a training workshop all day in the rain so it was lovely to put the dogs to bed, put on our glad rags and enjoy a lovely meal together.
"It was fantastic that the room was full; it showed how much people were moved to support those devastated by the earthquake. The evening was a lot of fun whilst giving support for a serious, good cause."
Simon Pitts-Drake, playing with his band The Melo-Ds, was surprised by the number of people he knew who had bought tickets. "There were so many people from West Swindon who I'd not seen for a long time; it was a really good to see how a community came together to help people in need."
DJ Brett Corvett from Kandifunk, usually an exponent of dance and trance, discovered a whole new repetoire, catering for middle of the road, older people.
Local technician Paul Bullimore who runs BullySound provided the PA and Shaun Skinner of Light Entertainment gave the venue atmosphere.