Having a Ball at our awards night

THE sun came out for the Sunshine Ball on Friday night as The Visitor, local businesses and the people of Morecambe joined together for a fantastic charity event.

More than £2,300 was raised on the night for St John’s Hospice and some of Morecambe’s biggest achievers were given Sunshine Awards for their contribution to the town.

The winners at our annual ceremony at the Midland Hotel included James Baxter & Son, who won the Business Award in recognition of their 213 years as the town’s quality purveyors of potted shrimps.

TT motorbike race legend John McGuinness won the Sports Award while Joyce Warrington carried off the Entertainments Award for her stellar work in dance and music theatre for more than 70 years.

Charity worker Don Holroyd was delighted to win the Unsung Hero award, after being nominated by Visitor readers for the third year running.

Morecambe Brass Band Association won the Community Group award.

And Morecambe’s promising indie band The Heartbreaks scooped the Ambassador Award. Although the band are currently on tour, they sent an acceptance video of themselves singing Bring Me Sunshine!

Another major highlight of the night was the contribution of TV personality Paul Hayes.

Not only did Paul host the charity auction with aplomb, but he put forth a commanding performance as front man of the night’s live act, rock ’n’ roll band The Paul Hayes Collection.

Hayes and his talented bandmates Wayne Barker, Garry Pugh, Sue Hedges, Rod Cairns and “Golly” Goulding ensured the guests had a blast dancing to classic 50s and 60s rock ’n’ roll tunes.

Magician Sam Fitton and master of ceremonies Michael Glen also helped the evening go with style.

Hosts Greg Lambert and Steve Middlesbrough survived some “technical gremlins” to host the awards.

And the three-course meal supplied by the Midland Hotel was superb.

Sue Nelson, on behalf of James Baxter & Son, said: “Winning the award was the icing on the cake. It was a lovely surprise.

“The meal and service was excellent. What a beautiful view the function room had at the Midland. Thank goodness the sun shone, followed by a beautiful sunset, perfect.”

The Visitor would like to thank the Midland Hotel, our main sponsors Morecambe Press, as well as Cumbrian Properties, the Arndale Centre, Kalimba Events, Sam Fitton, Michael Glen, St John’s Hospice, Paul Hayes and his band The Collection, and all our winners, nominees and guests who attended on Friday night.