Photo: Air Ambulance Director of Communications Jill Playle and Director of Operations Leigh Curtis
More than 750 people gathered to enjoy a Gala Family Day in warm sunshine on Saturday (17th May) and watch the Provincial Grand Master of the Order of Mark Master Masons of Surrey, R.W.Bro Ray Hussey present cheques totalling £250,000 to two charities.
The event was the culmination of a five-year year mini festival launched by the Provincial Grand Master to raise funds for two worthy charities.
The Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance was one of the charities that benefited from a £125,000 donation and the cheque was presented to Jill Playle, Director of Communications. The air ambulance service launched a 24-hour Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) at the end of last year, making it the only air ambulance in the country to fly at night.
Adrian Bell, Chief Executive of the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance, said: “This is an incredible donation and we are really grateful to the Mark Master Masons of Surrey for their wonderful generosity and support. The money is earmarked for a new helicopter which the Charity is looking to get next year to support and improve on-going operations.”
Mark Masters Masons, their families and friends were treated to entertainment and music including an Abba tribute band, modern sea shanty group The Salts Morris dancing, a Birds of Prey demonstration, Punch & Judy, Farnborough Wind Band and trips in a Noddy car, ending with a firework display and rousing choruses of Land of Hope and Glory.
R.W.Bro Ray Hussey, who presented the cheque, said: “We are delighted to support the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance and members of the Mark Province will continue to support the Air Ambulance and wish them well for the future.”
The Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance flies two helicopters from their bases at Redhill in Surrey and Marden in Kent with the night service operating out of Redhill. The charity relies almost entirely on donations to raise the £6million a year needed to fund the service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.