By all accounts the SPAA Summer Ball at the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh last week was a roaring success.
The Great Gatsby theme went down a storm with nearly everyone making an effort to look 1920's glamorous, humorous or in the case of all the gangsters who turned up - downright dangerous!
The pictures on the SPAA gallery tell the story - everyone was looking great and having a lot of fun. Congratulations to our 'best dressed' prize winners Linda MacDonald (Regent Seven Seas) and David Sanderson (NCL) - but also a special mention for Danny Giles and Emma Coombs of Hurtigruten who gamely turned up in 1920's swimming costumes complete with inflatable Orca and beach ball! Well done you two - I'll tell you that takes a bit of bottle....
As I said, it was a great night with thanks again to our headline sponsors on the night, Fred. Olsen, Delta Airlines / Virgin Atlantic, Edinburgh Airport and also to Travelport for providing the pre-dinner drinks and Classic Collection for sponsoring the band!
There was such a lot going on - we also managed to raise an incredible £4,500 for our new Charity, Mary's Meals. With every penny going towards feeding and educating around 580 kids in the Chipake school in Malawi, Africa, which has now been renamed the 'Balmoral School' for the two years that we have committed to support the school and the charity. Not surprisingly, that name came out tops in our competition to rename the school. It seemed a great choice, not just because it was the venue for this year's ball, but with Fred. Olsen also operating the MS Balmoral out of Rosyth this year, it was highly appropriate.
These SPAA travel events really are first class (don't mind if I say so myself) and that's down to the hard work of the SPAA social committee consisting of Janice Hogarth, Joanne Dooey and Gayle Gordon. Our Charity convenor Irene Darracott was also chuffed to bits with our fantastic total raised.
So a special thanks to them all and everybody else who helped make the night such a roaring 20's success!