A royal fundraising event with a twist was held in Clawton on Thursday, June 22, in aid of Breast Cancer Now.

Each year, Kerry Smith, of the Hat Shop in Holsworthy organises a coach trip to Royal Ascot. However this year, she decided to do something a little different.

 With the help and support of her mother Maralyn, Carol and many of her supportive customers, Kerry and the team hosted a Royal Ascot ladies day event instead.

Kerry explained: “Our local parish hall at Clawton was decorated to look like the bandstand which takes centre stage at the end of the day at Royal Ascot. Along with seating for our guests, all co ordinated in grey and pink and featuring a home made gin bar, winners table and gold floral hoop for photo opportunities, it was the perfect setting.

“We encouraged everyone to dress in Ascot style outfits and hats and greeted them with fizz and Pimms. We then provided a light lunch, with desserts donated by all the guests, followed by a ‘Gold Cup’ cream tea, with scones, jam and cream done both ways to keep everyone happy!

“The live racing was shown on a big screen and there was betting for each race.  Each race had a winners rosette and gold cup and the major race of the day had a gold cup to keep. This was presented in memory of Fanny Cole, one of our ‘Ascot gang’ who won it when we held a garden party after lockdown and then very sadly passed away.”

Kerry continued: “After all the races had finished and the prizes had been awarded, my youngest son, Rhys worked the laptop so that we could ‘sing around the bandstand’ and wave our flags, a tradition that brings everyone together at the end of the racing day.

“Once we had sung, we then presented everyone with homemade pasties, sausage rolls, cheese, biscuits and port, which concluded the most perfect day. There was a draw with lots of prizes. We raised an amazing £625 for Breast Cancer Now and I cannot thank everyone enough for this. The kind donations and generosity towards the day was amazing.”

This event was close to Kerry’s heart. She added: “I chose Breast Cancer Now as a close family member and friend have recently been diagnosed and are currently receiving treatment. 

“We are learning from them all the time about the care, compassion, treatment, side effects and progress they are making. We truly hope our fundraising has made a difference.”