And so the bat (Die Fledermaus) has been put to bed for a while and another varied week began. All leading towards a fundraiser last Saturday evening at the Hilton, Cardiff for ‘Welsh Hearts’ a charity I’ve been very closely involved with from the start. The charity is continuously pushing forward under its dynamic director Sharon Owen. Set up as a fundraising organisation to ‘help support Heart projects with a view to the preservation, safeguarding and promotion of cardiovascular health for all persons in Wales’. Since October 2013 ‘The Dai Fib Appeal’, (the defibrillator appeal for Wales) have funded 180 defibrillators throughout Wales.
But they are inundated with requests daily so Sharon is constantly thinking up fundraising activities to pull in the public and raise the awareness. Last Saturday was ‘STARS AT YOUR SERVICE’. Welsh celebrities were invited to wait at tables at the Hilton. The ballroom was packed and on the music cue of “Be our Guests” Sian Lloyd, Ruth Madoc, Nigel Walker, Sophie Evans, Jason Harrold, Ceri Dupree, Lynne Allbutt, Sue Charles, Meyrick Sheen (Jack Nicholson lookalike and father to Michael Sheen), Giovanni Malacrino and I paraded around the ballroom in black tie and aprons. The atmosphere was fantastic and everyone joined in from the outset.
Sian Lloyd was the perfect compere. Jason Harrold and I managed to interfere (in a positive way) with the auction. I really hope that the evening raised loads as the work of Welsh Hearts is vital for the people of Wales. As a patron of this charity I am so proud of the fact that every penny raised in Wales stays here.
Sunday morning up early for boot camp. This time it really did nearly kill me. Then it’s back home to Carmarthen for a meeting re my mum’s trust The Elizabeth Evans Trust. This is always such a difficult job as I need to read each application with the trust secretary Hazel and draw up a short list for auditions. We usually have over 80 applications but can only realistically audition 20 to 30. To lose 50 very talented people is heart breaking. I only wish we could help everyone who applies but we can’t.
This year the trust celebrates its 10th year and during that time we have, in our little way, helped so many achieve their dreams. I believe that over the last 9 years the trust has awarded over £65,000 of which I personally am so very proud. The arts really do need all the help it can get. We are empty without our art in my humble opinion.
Sunday night is a real treat. Off to The Parrot – the pub in King Street to hear the most amazing folk band Trenchfoot. They tell stories of the truth of war taken from letters and historical facts from soldiers and families in the Carmarthen area. I’m sure we will shed many a tear but be inspired by the truth that is spoken through the music.
This article was originally published in the Carmarthen Journal in Mark’s weekly column for the paper.