The event raised an astonishing £31,100 in pledges and donations for the ATLAS Foundation and its Gurkha Everest Expedition 2017
Building on the success of last year’s rugby-themed annual dinner, this year’s event at Reed Hall, University of Exeter, saw 90 guests donate generously to support the ATLAS Foundation, which uses rugby to improve the lives of some of the poorest people on earth.
Guests donated £1,100 to the Foundation. In addition, there were three subsequent pledges of involvement at £10,000 each for the charity’s Everest Expedition 2017 – a three-week Himalayan tour as part of the Gurkha community.
CISI West Country branch president Stephen Roach, Chartered FCSI, said: "I would like to thank all those who gave so generously at this wonderful event, including members, sponsors and all stakeholders. The evening goes to endorse that an ethical capitalist mind with a compassionate socialist heart can achieve great things."
The ATLAS Foundation was founded by Jason Leonard OBE, England’s most capped international player, Rugby World Cup winner, and past president of the Rugby Football Union. It funds overseas development projects, providing pitches, coaches and teachers for schools, clubs and communities in the poorest places on earth.
Guest speaker for the evening was John Lloyd, producer of Spitting Image, QI, Blackadder and The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, who amused the audience with stories of his encounters with the ‘television regulator’, from which he was called to defend various episodes of his somewhat irreverent programs, following complaints from viewers.
Other speakers included Major Bill Kelsall, who will be leading the expedition; and CISI CEO Simon Culhane, Chartered FCSI.
Top table guests included: The Right Honourable Worshipful Lord Mayor of Exeter, Cllr Cynthia Thompson; Professor Rajesh Tharyan, Senior Lecturer in Finance, Xfi Centre for Finance and Investment, Exeter University; Beverley Kelsall, guest of the Major; and Tony Steiner, Executive Director, Devon and Cornwall Law Society.
Sponsors of the event were Aberdeen Asset Management; Baillie Gifford; BlackRock; and Invesco Perpetual.