An incredible £1 million was raised during a charity ball attended by Sir Cliff Richard in tribute to a popular hotel manager who died after being diagnosed with cancer.
The Arora Charitable Foundation raised the funds to remember Bruno Delrieux who was the general manager of the Arora Hotel in Crawley during the last few years of his long and distinguished career with the Arora Group.
The father-of-two was diagnosed with bile duct cancer in 2016 and died in December 2017. The staggering amount has been split evenly between Macmillan Cancer Support and The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, two organisations that supported Bruno.
Sir Cliff performed at the ball and donated a jacket, worn during his tour in South Africa with The Shadows, to an auction on the night. Other prizes included dinner for 10 at Number 11 Downing Street with the Chancellor, which raised £36,000. Lady Wilnelia Forsyth also donated a set of Sir Bruce’s golf clubs to the silent auction.
The impressive amount was raised at the Arora Ball in October held at InterContinental London – The O2 and, once the final total was confirmed, it was donated through a cheque presentation.
Bruno’s wife Zeljana paid tribute to both causes and Arora Charitable Foundation organisers Sunita and Surinder Arora, owners of the Arora Hotel.
She said: “Both The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and Macmillan Cancer Support are charities very close to our hearts.
“The Royal Marsden, in particular his consultant Dr Chiara Braconi, treated Bruno, me and our daughters with so much compassion and it’s an honour to be supporting their work finding new ways to diagnose and treat cancer, giving patients hope. Our Macmillan nurse was also incredible.
"She was always there to provide support and advice about treatment and side-effects. What they do is so important. I also can’t express how wonderful Sunita and Surinder Arora are and how grateful I am for the support they have given us.”
Arora Charitable Foundation founder, Sunita Arora, said: “The ball was particularly poignant for us after losing Bruno, a valued colleague and dear friend, to cancer.
“We’re so thankful to everyone who attended and supported the ball and who helped us raise £1 million in Bruno’s memory for the two charities that mean so much to his family.
“You will all know of the renowned and respected, iconic Macmillan nurse. No-one ever forgets their Macmillan nurse and it is because of these nurses and the wonderful work that Macmillan does that Surinder and I decided to support Macmillan Cancer Support, who provide physical, financial and emotional support to help everyone with cancer live life as fully as they can.
“We’re also pleased to be able to contribute to The Royal Marsden’s brand new Oak Cancer Centre, a state-of-the-art £70 million treatment and care facility designed to speed up the translation of research breakthroughs into treatments for patients like Bruno.”
For information, support or just someone to talk to, call 0808 808 00 00 or visit macmillan.org.uk. To find out more about The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity or to make a donation visit royalmarsden.org