Tamara Ecclestone, Joan Collins, the Duchess of York, Donna Air and Kelly Hoppen were among the star names who turned out to support the 2013 Caudwell Children Butterfly Ball in London covered exclusively by ! in the new edition out this week.
Tamara Ecclestone, wearing a scarlet Hervé Léger dress, attended the ball for the first time with fiancé Jay Rutland, admitted she was getting excited about her and Jay”s engagement party in the South of France next month.
“It”s not long now,” she told !
“I am not at all nervous. I am enjoying the build-up and really excited. I am usually in Cannes at this time of the year. But I have heard a lot about the charity and what an amazing cause it is.”
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The Butterfly Ball is one of the most important dates of the year for self-made tycoon John and his glamorous wife Claire, as it raises both funds and awareness for Caudwell Children to provide much needed support to the families of disabled children.
“For me the most compelling cause of all is to give a child the best start in life,” says John, who sold his successful business Phones4U in 2006 to concentrate on his philanthropy.
To date Caudwell Children has provided services worth over £25million to thousands of children with over 500 different medical conditions.
Many of the Caudwells” famous friends – including Robbie Williams, Rod and Penny Stewart, Elizabeth Hurley and Sir Bruce Forsyth – are ambassadors.
Sarah, Duchess of York, is a loyal supporter and told !: “Loyalty and friendship are the most important thing to me. It is important to give back and support friends.There was no way I wasn”t going to be here tonight.”
Joining John and his wife Claire, who looked stunning in a Ralph and Russo gown, were other Butterfly Ball supporters Joan Collins and her husband Percy, Heather Kerzner in Gucci and Kelly Hoppen in Roland Mouret who attended with her partner John Gardiner, and James Middleton”s girlfriend Donna Air in Luisa Beccaria.
Many donated items or one-off experiences to the Silent Auction. Kelly contributed one of the contemporary kitchens she designed for kitchen specialist Smallbone of Devizes.
Other celebrities who came forward with money-can”t-buy lots were Rod Stewart, who offered a backstage pass for his concert at the O2 and Eddie Irvine, who offered his yacht from which to watch the Monaco Grand Prix. There were speeches from Trudi Beswick, CEO of Caudwell Children, as well ten times Paralympic Gold medallist in dressage Lee Pearson and Baroness Jane Campbell, the life peer, who is credited with pioneering changes to civil rights.
Music was provided by singers Jonathan Bremner and Darby Ward wearing a gown by Nina Naustdal, the daughter of interior designer Dawn Ward, wearing Philip Armstrong, and former footballer Ashley. The Ball is always a glamorous evening, but more importantly, a life-changing one too, raising a staggering £1,500,000.