Moonlight Ball celebrates 25 Years of supporting Suffolk Families raising £26,000


The highlight of the Home-Start in Suffolk social calendar, the Moonlight Ball, saw more than 160 guests gather at the Hangar at Milsoms, Kesgrave Hall on Friday 17 May 2024.

This well-established event treated guests to a wonderful evening hosted by charity CEO Tara Spence and chair of the board Rob Thacker and included an array of fun activities as well as live performances from Suffolk’s leading all female Acappella choir, Stellar Acappella and live music from The Talent.

The evening raised an incredible £26,000 which will be used to help support families in the Suffolk community.

To mark the 25th Anniversary a special photo slideshow accompanied by the glorious sound of Stellar Acappella singing Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful” World, shared how the charity has grown from humble beginnings – supporting just 13 families in its first year, to the established charity it is today, supporting a staggering 1,389 families in 2023! 

The Hangar looked stunning with its twinkling lights and Moon decorations as well as the beautiful Giving Tree centrepiece where guests were invited to pledge donations.  

Everyone enjoyed a delicious meal, had the opportunity to win some fabulous raffle prizes generously donated by Suffolk businesses, the chance to win an Apple iPad kindly donated by ICO Systems of Ipswich in a special prize draw and join in the exciting LIVE auction, expertly auctioneered by Oliver Miller of Bishop & Miller Auctioneers.  There we 5 fabulous Auction Lots in the live auction including short breaks in France and Aldeburgh, a football signed by the recently promoted Ipswich Town players, Manager, CEO and more, and a very special prize from Home-Start in Suffolk’s patron, Anthony Horowitz CBE – the opportunity to be a character in Anthony’s next book, due for release in 2025!

“I pledged to name a character in my next book in honour of the highest bidder!” explains Anthony Horowitz CBE.

“And this will not just be a name check in the story. I will add extra details making sure that the highest bidder can be fully identified – in a way to be mutually agreed. Plus, there will be a special mention on the book’s acknowledgements page and a signed copy from me too!”

There was also an online auction featuring stunning artwork from Suffolk based artists Theronda Hoffman and Allan Williams, overnight stays at Hintlesham Hall and Milsoms, Kesgrave Hall, a unique, one of a kind Moonst9one and Aquamarine Necklace, designed and handmade especially for this event by local gemmologist Susannah Chenevix- Trench and a unique Alex Rider gift set which includes a full set of signed copies of the series and some special Alex Rider themed gifts.

Home-Start in Suffolk CEO Tara Spence said: “We are thrilled that we have been able to host this year’s Moonlight Ball and we delighted to have such amazing support from local businesses who sponsored the event including Mauldons Brewery, Larking Gowen, Becketts Investment Management and Forefront Utilities.

Tara Spence continues “The Ball has exceeded all our expectations and has achieved so much, not only in terms of fundraising revenue which will be used to fund recruitment and training for more fully trained volunteers, but it was a chance to remind people what we do at Home-Start, what our amazing volunteers do to support families – providing support and professional friendship at a time it is needed by so many, and the difference that support can make.  In the last year we have seen the number of families accessing our services rise significantly.”