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Record-breaking sum raised for Mercy Ships at Africa Ball

The Africa Ball, held by Mercy Ships, the charity organisation which runs the world’s largest hospital charity ship The Africa Mercy, has raised a record-breaking sum thanks to some star auction prizes ...

The Africa Ball, held by Mercy Ships, the charity organisation which runs the world’s largest hospital charity ship The Africa Mercy, has raised a record-breaking sum.

Celebrating the charity’s 35th anniversary, The Africa Ball was held at the Landmark Hotel in London on Saturday 21 June 2014. It raised a record-breaking £130,000 (net) for Mercy Ships through auctions and ticket sales.
Founded by Don and Deyon Stephens in 1978, The Africa Mercy offers free medical care and humanitarian aid to some of the world’s poorest people and has just finished 10 month outreach in Congo-Brazzaville where the volunteers have performed more than 1,944 surgeries, 4,054 surgical procedures and 17,000 dental procedures on 1,740 patients. The ship will head to Benin later this year.

Lord Ian McColl CBE announced: “As Chairman of Mercy Ships UK, I take great pride in seeing the continued work of the charity and its ambitious plans for the future. As I reflect on Mercy Ships’ 35-year history, it’s astonishing to see how one young man’s dream to help the poorest of the poor has led to the largest charity hospital ship in the world.”

Guests at the annual ball were entertained by African drum band Drum Cafe, followed by a round of auctions that sold attractive prizes including two centre court debenture tickets for the women’s Wimbledon final, a 7-night stay on Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island, and artworks by renowned artists Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso and Marc Chagall – donated by Broad Gallery.

The Africa Mercy, which is currently being docked for maintenance in the Canary Islands, will sail to Cotonou, Benin, for a 10-month outreach in mid-August. The volunteers will bring hope and healing to a population the ship is visiting for the fifth time.

“For 35 years, our fleet of floating hospitals has been the hope on the horizon for millions of people, and so much has been achieved. We’ve made 575 port visits to 54 developing nations (and counting!) and changed the lives of over 2.42 million people through free transformational surgery, healthcare and sustainable community development,” added Lord McColl.

“Don Stephens’s vision was to show compassion and help people beaten down through poverty and disease in the most efficient way. This remains our mission today; ensuring that the money donated directly changes the lives of thousands of people in urgent need of operations and health care in the poorest parts of the world.”

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