The Lily Foundation logo featuring a butterfly, hearts and an 'x' for a kiss

Fighting mito,
finding hope.

Cinderella Ball raises a magical £64,000 to help fight mito


27 March 2024

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful ball held in a fabulous hotel for a group of very special people. That time was last Saturday, and that occasion was our annual charity ball, the most anticipated event in the Lily calendar.

A group of ladies wearing party dresses at the Lily Foundation charity ball Lily founder Liz standing on stage in front of a large clock A group of people attending the Lily charity ball , the men are wearing black tuxedos and the lady a bright pink party dress Comic Josh Widdicombe standing with two adult mito patients A guest sitting at their table at the Lily ball buying a raffle entry from a volunteer A man and lady with their arms around each other holding a glass of fizz wearing party clothes A group of men in black tuxedos and a lady in a silver dress standing in a row in front of a stage with a large clock Guests seated at tables at the Lily ball holding their arms up in the air and cheering Comic Josh Widdicombe standing on stage with a microphone and pointing Guests sitting at their tables and enjoying themselves with two men in black tuxedos standing up laughing Two drag queens standing on the stage with microphones The ballroom at the Lily ball with auction slides showing on screens either side of the main stage A lady wearing a black dress is holding the hands of young adult mito patient Emily, who is in a wheelchair, on the dancefloor A group of men and ladies with their arms around one another on the dancefloor A band wearing sparkly clothing on stage at the Lily ball, one is singing into a microphone, others playing drums and guitar Adult mito patient James in a wheelchair on the dancefloor with two ladies in party clothes with their arms around him

Nearly 300 Cinderellas and Prince Charmings gathered in their finest party outfits at London’s Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel for the fairytale-themed evening hosted by comedian and Lily patron, Josh Widdicombe.

On arrival at the venue, guests were instantly transported to a magical palace thanks to the skill and imagination of the Lily events team and Artpod Brighton. Glittering chandeliers, twinkling lights and a magic pumpkin carriage saw the rags-to-riches theme brought to life in mesmerising style.

After a glass of fizz to break the ice, the evening kicked off with the speeches. One of the biggest cheers of the night came when CEO and Lily founder Liz Curtis announced that earlier in the year the charity had reached £10 million – what a momentous fundraising milestone.

She gave a special shoutout to Dr Mike Champion who is retiring this year. Mike was Lily’s doctor and the medical momentum behind the origin of The Lily Foundation. On behalf of herself, partner Dave and every patient Mike has supported over the years, Liz thanked him and wished him well for the next stage of his life.

Liz then reflected on how important it is for mito patients to get a confirmed diagnosis of their condition. Huge thanks to Millie for sharing her and partner Tony’s harrowing story of the loss of their baby boy, Otto, and why his mito diagnosis held such significance for them. Millie’s words reinforced why we do what we do, and moved many guests to tears.

After the speeches, guests enjoyed an exquisite 3-course meal whilst taking lucky dips in the raffle and bidding on a selection of exciting lots in a silent auction conducted seamlessly by agency A Star Experience.

The entertainment kept on coming in the shape of the larger-than-life drag act Bosom Buddies. They were followed by ex-England rugby player and after-dinner speaker David Trick, who oversaw the grand auction, ably assisted by Josh and fellow Lily patron, actor Lucy Speed.

And there were certainly some fairytale prizes on offer, all generously donated by our supporters, from a meet & greet with Peter Kay and tickets for the upcoming heavyweight title fight in Saudi Arabia to a fantastic behind-the-scenes Grand Prix TV experience.

Unlike Cinders, no one had to dash off at midnight. Instead, thanks to live music from the fabulous Fully FunKtional, it was off with the glass slippers and onto the dancefloor until the wee hours.

Huge thanks to all of you who played your part to make this very special event happen. We couldn’t do it without the help of each and every one of you.

In total, the evening raised over £64,000, with ticket sales and pledges still to follow. All proceeds will go directly towards supporting people affected by mito – people like Millie and Tony and their beautiful baby, Otto.

Lily Fight Night is back!

Tickets are selling fast for this unforgettable evening on 2nd May. Grab yours today and help give mito a knockout punch.