Still Game star helps vital charity to really have a ball

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TV stars, sponsors and friends have rallied round to help a Lenzie-based charity take a step closer to realising its dream.

Deafblind Scotland hosted its second ‘Field of Dreams’ Gala Ball recently at the Thistle Hotel in Glasgow to raise funds for a £1.3million training and resource centre in Lenzie.

‘Chewin’ the Fat’ and ‘Still Game’ star Greg Hemphill was there, along with ‘River City’ actress Pamela Byrne, who plays Hayley in the soap.

They joined supporters, sponsors and members of the deafblind community – letting their hair down to support the building of a Scottish centre for the dual sensory impaired on the ‘Field of Dreams’ site in East Dunbartonshire.

Greg later Tweeted: “Had a really amazing time at Deafblind Scotland’s Field of Dreams Gala Ball tonight.

“Met some lovely, amazing and inspirational people.”

Musical entertainment was provided in abundance with Indian drum act The Royal Dhol Force joining Royal National Mod-winning singer Elena Piras and the talented Bill Finlayson.

Second Hand Elastic Band kept the dance floor crowded for the whole evening with an upbeat offering which pleased all ages. A raffle, auction, silent auction and a money tree gave supporters the opportunity to contribute to raising £5,200 on the night.

It is hoped and anticipated that Santander – who provided five volunteers – will match-fund the sum raised to a maximum of £3,500.

That would mean the evening will, in the end, add more than £11,000 to the ‘Field of Dreams’ building fund.

Bob Nolan, Deafblind Scotland chairman, said: “The Field of Dreams Ball was a great success and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone there.

“Personally I was thrilled to have Elena Piras, a deafblind folk singer, perform on stage – a great example of someone who is stretching themselves despite a significant dual sensory impairment.

“I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to the DBS staff who, together with Drena, pulled out all stops to make the ball the real success it was.”

Drena O’Malley, Deafblind Scotland initiatives officer, added: “The evening was a fantastic success enjoyed by all and we are really grateful to those who supported the ball – either by helping in its organisation or digging deep into their pockets.

“Many of our members attended and had a wonderful evening mingling with supporters, staff and our two special guests.

“Our plans to create a purpose-built centre for Scottish deafblind people in Lenzie continue to move forward and we are working tirelessly to make our ‘Field of Dreams’ a reality.

“If anyone would like to know more about the project or to donate then we would love to hear from them.

“E-mail or phone 0141 777 5823.”

GAME FOR A SMILE: Greg is pictured with Deafblind Scotland guide/communicators Jacqueline Harvey-Belton (left) and Rosaleen Doyle.