GRAND DAY OUT GALA DINNER
THE GRAND DAY OUT HAS BEEN A REGULAR OCCURRENCE FOR THE LAST FIVE YEARS ON THE WEEKEND OF THE GOLF OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP IN ST ANDREWS.
Initially created by Major (retired) Tim Grantham and his wife, it allows injured service personnel the chance to enjoy a few days of golfing and socialising to aid towards their recovery. This initiative has helped over 100 personnel in the last five years. This year the grand day out started on Friday 17 July, and was met with the rain that disrupted the Open Championship. Not allowing this to stop any activity the guests of the Grand Day Out were taken to watch and meet some of the professional golfers while they practiced and also to meet and talk with HRH the Duke of York.
The Gala Dinner took place on the night of Saturday 18 July and was hosted by the Royal and Ancient. As the Injured Personnel and various Guests started to arrive they were taken to the Links Pavilion for pre-drinks. This is where I started the evening by speaking to some of the Officers, Guests and Injured Personnel. Once the 15 minute call went out for the guests to start moving up to the dining area, I went ahead to organise the seating arrangements for the evening. The serving personnel supporting the evening were then kindly given the opportunity to join in with the meal and socialise with the Guests.
Having been entertained for the evening by the wonderful singer Megan Adams, the daughter of a serving naval officer, and enjoying a delicious prepared meal, we then were tasked to assist the auctioneer while he was conducting the auction. Many items were auctioned, the pick of them included:
Three days hospitality at the 2016 Hong Kong sevens
A VIP day with the Royal Air Force Aerobatic team – the Red Arrows “wounded – the legacy of war” photographed and signed by Bryan Adams
A four ball trump package at both Trump Turnberry and Trump International golf courses with helicopter transfer and 2 nights accommodation.
Four champions club tickets for the 145th Open at Royal Troon 2016
Two VIP tickets to the 2016 BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Greywalls hotel: one night bed and breakfast
Signed shirt by Phil Mickelson from the open 2013
A total of £50,000 was raised for the Defence Medical Welfare Service, a charity who provide practical and emotional support to military personnel, their families and other entitled civilians when they are in hospital, rehabilitation or recovery centres. Having thoroughly enjoyed the evening, meeting various celebrities and raising a large amount of money for charity, I would highly recommend this event for others to volunteer for if the chance arises.