Fundraising committee celebrates its 20th anniversary

29 Nov 2016

For the 20th year running hundreds of people have filled the rooms of central London hotels for the UK’s largest charity bridge event – Jewish Care’s Bridge Extravaganza.

Bridge ExtravaganzaThis year’s 20th anniversary event raised a record breaking £100,000 taking the total raised over the 20 years to over £1.6million. In 2012 the Bridge Extravaganza was awarded the Guinness World Record for having cumulatively raised the most money for a Bridge tournament.

The event was the brain child of Petplan founder Patsy Bloom who 20 years ago, having sold her multi million business, set out on a quest to form a fundraising committee formed of capable women. The committee is co-chaired by Patsy and fellow founder member Susan James. Eight of the women on today’s committee have been working alongside Patsy and Susan since day one with some newer, younger members joining in the last few years.

Pasty is the first to recognise the team effort it takes to ensure the success of the event;
“Without every member of the committee we wouldn’t be where we are today. Working alongside those who I carefully approached 20 years ago to join me are some newer, younger faces and together we make a great team”.

Prior to setting up Petplan Patsy worked in the Charity Sector for both Oxfam and the Central British Fund for Refugees. Her decision to support Jewish Care stemmed from her gratitude for the care family members had received from the organisation. She brought both her passion for supporting the cause along with her professionalism and experience in business to create the event. “It runs to the minute and like a military operation” commented Patsy. She continued; “After every event we all sit down and do a post mortem, work out what went well and what we can do even better”.

The money raised has funded the running costs of the care buses Jewish Care use to collect people from their homes to the organisations centres for people living with dementia.

Speaking after the event Simon Morris, Jewish Care’s Chief Executive praised the dedication and commitment of the entire committee as well as thanking those who have supported the event over the years;
“Over the past 20 years this event has become a fixture in the calendar of so many people across the community. The dedication from the committee and the support of those who sponsor and attend the event is remarkable. This event has raised much needed funds to ensure people living with dementia can attend our day centres. These centres are a life line for people living with dementia and their carers”.
The overall winners of the main duplicate trophy were Gill and Lynton Stock and the overall winners of the friendly duplicate trophy were Anne and Daniel Rubin.

View the photos from the 2016 Bridge Extravaganza