Hosted by Danni Menzies, presenter of the Channel 4 hit series A Place in the Sun, the evening included performances from much loved singer and actor Danny John-Jules and international soprano Janis Kelly; and readings from multi-award winning actor Robert Powell and much loved stage and television star James Bolam.
Before taking their seats for the evening, guests enjoyed mulled wine and mince pies, browsed our merchandise stalls and bought a raffle ticket or two, giving themselves the chance to win one of eight incredible prizes – including meet and greets with Jason Donovan and Beverley Knight, a dog-friendly afternoon tea for two at Sloane Place in Chelsea, dinner for two at popular Soho eatery Mildred’s, a gorgeous designer scarf, a bottle of whiskey and a subscription to Natusan’s naturally clumping cat litter delivery service together with a bottle of Moet & Chandon.
Guests could also choose to personalise and dedicate a memory bauble to a loved and lost pet, which will be displayed on the Christmas tree in our reception throughout December.
After a warm welcome from host Danni, Holby City star Robert Powell stood to give two highly amusing and heart-warming Christmas readings, and was followed by a musical performance from Red Dwarf star Danny John-Jules, hot off of last year’s stint Strictly Come Dancing.
St Giles in the Field choir then led guests for rendition of a few Christmas classics, including Ding Dong Merrily On High and Hark The Herald Angels Sing.
It was then time to hear from Dan Domeney, Kennels Assistant, who spoke about the transformation of Tess the German Shephard – one of our all-time favourite ex-residents, who finally found her forever home earlier this year.
When Tess first came to us back in February, she was emaciated, scared out of her wits and covered in sores. Thanks to the care, love and dedication of Dan, his fellow kennels team and our vets over six long months, Tess recovered enough to go up for adoption, where she was discovered by her now-owner, Alan and his wife Susan.
Alan joined Dan to tell guests about Tess’s recovery and rehabilitation, and spoke emotionally about the intense joy that she now brings to their family.
Whilst guests were still wiping their eyes, principal operatic artist and international soprano Janis Kelly took to the stage, delighting guests with two stunning performances of The Holy City and Silent Night.
New Tricks and The Likely Lads lead James Bolam then gave a wonderfully entertaining reading of Old Sam’s Christmas Pudding, before the choir once more led guests in singing a few more carols.
CEO Caroline Yates wrapped up the evening with a final reading and speech, detailing Mayhew’s achievements from the last 12 months, before welcoming famous dog behaviourist and trainer Oli Juste to the pulpit to draw the raffle prizes.
Guests then happily sung their way through a final carol before saying their goodbyes and heading back out into London’s very own ‘winter wonderland’.
We are thrilled to report that the evening raised a whopping £5,535 – smashing last years’ effort by over £1000!
We are incredibly grateful to everybody who came out to join us and bought raffle tickets, memory baubles, and treats for themselves and their pets – and of course, we couldn’t have done it without the much appreciated support of our cherished celebrity guests and the evenings sponsors, Natusan and Pedigree Pens.
To find out more about Mayhew’s upcoming events, please take a look at our website here. We look forward to seeing you in 2020!
Photo credit: Graham Hilling
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