The gala fundraiser dinner with Dionne Warwick was a sassy and glamorous affair. The Banqueting Hall in Whitehall, London was dazzling not only with crystals on spectacular Kristina Rihanoff’s and Erin Boag’s dancing dresses. The event was attended by celebrities including Ben Cohen, Tristan MacManus, Ian Waite, Richard Arnold, Joe Alvarez, Tamara Orlova-Alvarez, Baroness Olga Roh, Sharron Davies, Lizzie Cundy and Olympians Jamie Baulch and Derek Redmond among others.
The celebs and VIP’s enjoyed the sumptuous three-course meal and were entertained with performances by the City Academy Songbirds, junior pro dancers Maddie Ingoldsby and Korey Andrews, Damon Elliott and diva Dionne Warwick herself. Kristina Rihanoff – the patron of the charity – was mingling, and posing for photos in elegant Pia Michi dress that she accessorized with Nadine Aysoy jewellery.
The Dot Com Children’s Foundation was founded by former newsreader Sharon Evans who was herself a victim of sexual abuse and violence in her childhood.
‘Child abuse is a reality across all social classes,’ said Sharon Evans in her speech. ‘In school, I was well fed and well dressed and no one had any suspicions about what was happening to me. And I didn’t know how to speak about it.’ Sharon’s special thanks went to City Hedge Fund firm Avem Capital, whose founders Steven and Kay Jupp were also present.
The charity runs a learning programme in schools, which helps empower children to speak up about issues which frighten or worry them. There are more than 30,000 children in UK schools taking part in the programme. It is supported by the Home Office as it helps to prevent children being groomed and becoming the victims of violence and abuse.
Dione Warwick admitted she felt very strongly about the cause – as a human, mother, and grandmother. The singer together with her son Damon Elliott performed the new remix of The World Needs Love, which they ‘prepared specially for the charity’. Her stellar and moving performance was met with rapturous applause and a standing ovation after la Dionne left a very personal message from the stage: “Keep smiling, keep shining knowing you can always count on Di, for sure. That’s what friends are for.”
The evening culminated with a fantastic performance of Kristina Rihanoff and Tristan MacManus and sweetheart duo Ian Waite and Erin Boag.
The guests then took to the stage and were dancing well into the early hours of Saturday before the arrival of the carriages.
Kristina Rihanoff, Ben Cohen
Tamara Orlova-Alvarez, Joe Alvarez
Ian Waite, Kristina Rihanoff
Erin Boag, Ian Waite
Kristina Rihanoff, Tristan MacManus
Kristina Rihanoff, Tamara Orlova-Alvarez, Joe Alvarez, Olga Roh
Baroness Olga Roh, Kristina Rihanoff
Tristan MacManus, Erin Boag, Ian Waite
(L-R) Dionne Warwick, Kay Jupp, Tamara Orlova-Alvarez, Steven Jupp
(L-R) Cal Leeming, Kay Jupp, Steven Jupp, Sharon Evans, Kristina Rihanoff