A glorious Saturday afternoon in Leeds’ scenic Roundhay Park attracted thousands of supporters to the inaugural Yorkshire Cancer Centre Gala, in a united bid to raise funds for the centre’s £10 million appeal. Over £7,500 was raised for the centre, as attendees gave donations to see members of the UK’s national parachute team, Red Devil’s, leap from the sky, dazzling musical performances from Roxyrama (a Brian Ferry tribute band) and an out of this world show from the Star Wars Storm Troopers. The Lord Mayor ofLeeds, Coun Judith Elliott, made a special civic appearance on the day.
Social media was a key tool in capturing the minds and hearts of many people of all ages. A Facebook group promoting the event was launched and acted as the perfect platform for advertising stall availability as well as monitoring interest and potential attendance figures. A Twitter account was set up with regular tweets updating followers of event planning, progress and news.
The Gala details were uploaded onto free regional ‘what’s on’ guides, including DigYorkshire.com. An e-flyer was distributed to all key media contacts. A news release to announce the Red Devils display was then issued and Radio Aire advertising was secured and scripts written, to continue building the hype in the weeks leading up to the day. A pre-recorded interview was broadcast by The Pulse. Further news releases were issued to encourage people to come along and give generously. A post event release was issued to announce the total amount raised.
Thousands of people attended and over £7,500 was raised. Extensive print media coverage was gained, both pre and post event, including the Yorkshire Post, Bradford Telegraph and Argus, Rounday Today, Yorkshire Evening Post and Ripon Gazette. Glossy Ridings Magazine covered the day with a spread of photographs.
On the day of the gala, BBC Radio Leeds did a live outdoor broadcast and interviewed a key member of the Yorkshire Cancer Centre fundraising team. And in terms of television, both BBC1 and ITV Calendar covered the event.
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