Nine leading business people from Doncaster are swapping meetings for microphones as they prepare to perform stand-up comedy routines in support of their local cancer hospital.
Funny Business Doncaster, a fundraising event being organised by Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity in association with the Doncaster Chamber of Commerce and Industry and supported by Business Doncaster, will see participants take to the stage at Doncaster Racecourse and each deliver a ten minute comedy sketch.
The brave bunch will undergo a five-week training regime with policemen turned creative comic, Alfie Moore, and will be supported throughout the process by Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity’s Tina Harrison, before they take to the stage on Thursday 24th October.
Alfie is an original and distinctive comedian with witty anecdotes about his time as a serving police sergeant. As well as writing and performing his own one-man show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival he has also supported Sarah Millican, Russell Kane and Milton Jones on their national comedy tours.
The well known participants include Mark Appleyard (Director, Mark Appleyard Solicitors), Colin Gaffney, (Managing Director, The Natural Learning Company), Richard Walsh (Managing Director, Pennine Stone), Paul Fearn (Director, Forge Trade UK Ltd) Arnie Shelley (Owner, WPA), Gary Thickett (Director, Gary Thickett Accountants) Mark Beresford (Senior, Partner, Taylor Bracewell Solicitors) and Mick Stamp (1st Security Solutions).
Managing Director of Pennine Stone, Richard Walsh, said: “You may well see beautiful stone columns, entrance porticos and bespoke door surrounds manufactured by Pennine Stone Ltd on the front of every judge’s house by the end of October, in a shameful disregard of the Bribery Act 2010.
“In truth, I hope that this comedy night raises a substantial amount of money for this marvellous cause!”
The unique fundraiser will be the first of its kind in the Doncaster area and will see the top business people step into the unknown to perform on stage at the town’s iconic venue.
Funds raised from the event will contribute to the charity’s ‘Do Your Bit’ campaign, which is currently raising funds for a new state-of-the-art cancer research and treatment suite at Weston Park Hospital.
This will allow patients access to a wider range of new cutting edge anti-cancer treatments, as well as enabling significant development of the hospital’s ground-breaking programme of clinical trials.
Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity needs to raise £1.5 million this year in order to fund pioneering cancer research and to help improve the treatments and care for people living with cancer.
With over 400 guests expected to attend on the night, a panel of high profile VIP judges comprising of Jo Miller (Chair of Doncaster Council), Andy Mckenna (President of Doncaster Chamber) and Coral Keers (Managing Director of MODE magazine), will decide the ‘funny fate’ of the contestants as they deliver their verdict.
Acting Charity Deputy Director, Tina Harrison, is confident that with the support of the Doncaster community and businesses, the event will be a huge success.
She said: “It’s fantastic that we are able to hold an event in Doncaster that brings together business leaders from such diverse sectors, with one common goal - to make people laugh.
“With the help and support of the Doncaster Chamber of Commerce we are excited to host an undoubtedly amusing and enjoyable night for all, whilst raising vital funds for the charity.”
Weston Park Hospital provides care for cancer patients from across the region, which means that patients from Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley, Doncaster, Worksop, Chesterfield, and beyond benefit from donations made to the charity.
Almost a quarter of all patients treated by Weston Park Hospital come from the Doncaster and Bassetlaw area.
Mark Appleyard of Mark Appleyard Solicitors said: “Although the event will see me completely out of my comfort zone, I am honoured that I am able to contribute to such an essential resource for the people of Doncaster.”
Tickets can be purchased for £14 online at www.funnybusinessdoncaster.org.uk,or by calling the charity office on 0114 226 5370. For people who can’t come along to the event, the participants can be individually sponsored.
To donate to the Do Your Bit campaign or to find ideas on how to do your bit visit www.do-your-bit.org.uk.