Thursday 12th November saw the Foundation celebrate its 125th Anniversary with a Gala Dinner at the Savoy Hotel. The evening, which was hosted by Martin Bayfield, kicked off in style with a champagne reception and a special visit from Saracens who brought along the Aviva Premiership Trophy. Guests were then treated to a sumptuous meal in the beautiful surroundings of the Lancaster Ballroom before being entertained in the live auction by Charlie Ross.
Sir John Major was our guest speaker and he spoke passionately about the work of the Foundation. As a life long supporter of Surrey County Cricket Club and Chelsea FC he is well aware of the benefits of sport calling it the “greatest unifying force he knows”. He also warned that playing fields are in danger.
“Research shows that playing fields contribute to huge savings in health and social expenditure. Now that obesity is such a problem, it is illogical to allow further playing fields to be lost. The importance of sport is sometimes underestimated by officialdom, but it should not be.”
“As a non-statutory service, our playing fields are an easy target when there is a need to cut running costs. We need to campaign to make sport a statutory service, then playing fields will be safe… not for the short-term, but forever.”
“The work of the LPFF is crucial and deserves support. Once playing fields are gone we may never get them back. We need to rekindle the philanthropic zeal of our Victorian forefathers, to ensure our children, their children and their children’s children have safe places to play. We shouldn’t hesitate to seek support from those who can help us achieve that.”
The evening raised £150,000 which is a remarkable achievement and will help us to continue protecting places to play sport forever. Thank you to everyone who attended and supported us and all who gave prizes or donations.
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