Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Saint Hill Gala Charity Concert 2008 - local newspaper coverage

The Saint Hill Gala Charity Concert 2008 was reported in both the local newspapers that cover the East Grinstead area:

East Grinstead Courier & Observer:

Celebrity hands over charity cheque
October 30, 2008 edition

HELPING HAND: Hollywood star Kelly Preston
with Sussex Air Ambulance doctors and paramedics.

A massive £50,000 boost to the Sussex Air Ambulance funds came from a charity concert.

Air Ambulance chief executive Dave Philpott, ambulance staff and crew received the cheque from Hollywood actress Kelly Preston, who is the wife of Saturday Night Fever star John Travolta.

With her on stage at Saint Hill, where the concert was held on Sunday (October 26), was Bob Keenan, director of the L. Ron Hubbard Foundation.

The annual Saint Hill Charity Gala Concert was hosted by Ms Preston and attended by 1,500 people, including former town mayor Cllr Christine Mainstone and her husband Cllr Bob Mainstone.

They were entertained by a wide range of music from rock legend Edgar Winter to the East Grinstead based Jive Aces.

Sussex Air Ambulance is a charity which provides emergency transport and medical services across three counties.

It attends an average of four incidents a day and is funded entirely by voluntary donations. After receiving the cheque, Delaine Sharman, the county fundraiser, said: "That will enable us to save 50 lives, so you should all be proud of yourselves."

The Brighton Argus:

Scientologists hand Sussex air medics £50k
October 31, 2008 by Lawrence Marzouk

The controversial Church of Scientology has donated £50,000 to the Sussex Air Ambulance Service at a glitzy gala hosted by a Hollywood star.

Actress Kelly Preston, wife of John Travolta, compered the event at the church’s headquarters in Saint Hill Manor, East Grinstead, in front of 1,500 people.

Ms Preston is a keen supporter of the religion, which was founded by L Ron Hubbard in 1953.

Sussex Air Ambulance Service provides helicopter cover for the county, as well as for Kent and Surrey, attending an average of four incidents every day.

The charity is funded entirely by donations and provides a team of doctors, paramedics and nurses. Its chief executive, Dave Philpott, was invited on to the stage alongside staff and crew to accept the cheque from Ms Preston and Bob Keenan, director of the L Ron Hubbard Foundation.

Delaine Shearman, the Sussex fundraiser for the charity, said: “The £50,000 raised will enable 50 possible life-saving missions.

“The Sussex Air Ambulance is grateful for these vital funds that will help keep our helicopter operational.

“Everyone should be very proud of themselves.”

Mr Keenan added: “The L Ron Hubbard Foundation and the Church of Scientology are delighted to give their support to the Sussex Air Ambulance as our chosen charity for this concert, which each year is the highlight of our charity fundraising events and activities.

“As any help the Sussex Air Ambulance receives enables their teams to save more lives, many people pulled out all the stops so we could give this donation.

“Our warm thanks are due to all those contributors.”

The gala concert concluded a weekend of activities, attracting more than 7,000 people from across the world.

Representatives from embassies including Cameroon, Bulgaria, Vietnam, Fiji, South Africa and Liberia were among the crowd.

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