A PRESTIGIOUS black-tie event raised £20,000 for two important causes.

The Semi-Dangerous Sporting Man’s Club of Braintree’s mid-summer ball is an annual event that takes place at The Fennes in Bocking.

This year, at the event in June, the club decided to support the Braintree and Bocking Public Gardens Trust as well as the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance.

Les Ely, one of the organisers, said: “We have run the summer ball for the last eight or nine years and previously we have supported Macmillan Cancer Support and raised around £130,000 in total.

“This year we wanted to change the charity and support more local causes.

“I have been in business in Braintree for 40 years and I really wanted to do something for the local area so we decided to support the gardens.”

The gardens are run by a charitable trust and receive no outside funding.

George Canvin, Treasurer of the Braintree and Bocking Public Gardens Trust, said: “We need to keep on running events like this to keep the gardens going. This is 25 per cent of what we need every year in one go which is brilliant.

“From everyone at the gardens I would like to pass on my thanks to Les Ely and Alan Rider for their hard work and amazing efforts raising the money.”

The event is set to return again next year with hopes of surpassing the club's £22,000 fundraising record per event.

Sabi Stafford, fundraising manager for the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance, said: “We need £500,000 a month to keep both helicopters flying and it costs £2,700 per mission. This represents three life-saving missions for us.

“This is a huge donation and £10,000 for one evening is phenomenal. We would like to say a big thank you to the club for choosing us as without people like them we would not be able to keep flying and saving lives.”