Doncaster cancer charity fundraiser seek help from famous faces

Sarah and Paul Mullen with auction prize - painting from Daisy Watt, aged 8 from Misson. Painting is called 'A New Day' and was inspired by Daisy's grandma who survived cancer.  The painting sold at auction for 5200 (Picture: Andrew Kelly photography)
Sarah and Paul Mullen with auction prize - painting from Daisy Watt, aged 8 from Misson. Painting is called 'A New Day' and was inspired by Daisy's grandma who survived cancer. The painting sold at auction for 5200 (Picture: Andrew Kelly photography)

Doncaster charity fundraiser the Equinox Ball is seeking help from some famous faces to raise awareness for cancer and help change the lives of those with life-limiting illnesses. 

Equinox, a charity created by Sarah and Paul Mullen from Bessacarr, has raised over £200,000 since its inception through charity walks, numerous events and the annual ball. 

Paul and Sarah Mullen with Firefly Vehicle no.4 named after the people who inspired Equinox Bob and Carol Mullen bought with money raised from Equinox Ball in 2014

Paul and Sarah Mullen with Firefly Vehicle no.4 named after the people who inspired Equinox Bob and Carol Mullen bought with money raised from Equinox Ball in 2014

Now, in their fifth year, Equinox will be creating a video to showcase at the ball with the help of various celebrities, with hopes of raising awareness to those outside of Doncaster.

And, they have already gathered support from the likes of Billy Sharp, Paul Chuckle and Chesney Hawkes to name a few. 

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Sarah said: “We wanted to do something to catch attention. So far we’ve got Billy Sharp, Bewitched, Sheree Murphy, Chesney Hawks, Raksu, Lizzie Cundy and Paul Chuckle.

Alice in Wonderland themed ball in 2017 - Stood with Alice and the rabbit then L-R - James Mullen, Hannah Mullen, Sarah Mullen, Paul Mullen (Picture: Andrew Kelly photography)

Alice in Wonderland themed ball in 2017 - Stood with Alice and the rabbit then L-R - James Mullen, Hannah Mullen, Sarah Mullen, Paul Mullen (Picture: Andrew Kelly photography)

“We’ve got loads, there is around 18 people so far and we’ve got others on the way.”

Each celeb is asked to create a 20 second ‘selfie’ video showing support for the charity, which when put together will be played to 500 guests on the night and hopefully reach a bigger audience afterwards. 

“It’s about raising the profile, to show awareness and support for what we do, that we are a serious event," Sarah added. “To have the backing from celebrities it will remind people to support and donate. We can't do it without the support of people.

“We can keep going with our fundraising efforts as long as we have that backing. It has been amazing the support we have had so far.”

Brooke Exley Magician from Doncaster doing his magic to guests and raised 1k on the night in donations in 2017 (Picture: Andrew Kelly photography)

Brooke Exley Magician from Doncaster doing his magic to guests and raised 1k on the night in donations in 2017 (Picture: Andrew Kelly photography)

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Sarah and Paul first held the Equinox ball in 2014, a year after the couple lost Paul’s parents Bob and Carol to cancer within just two weeks of each other.

Turning their grief into something positive, the first ball was organised as a one-off event to raise funds for cancer patients, but due to demand it is still going strong and raising funds to beat cancer, and help those suffering from the disease.

The money raised by Equinox is split equally between Cancer Research UK and Doncaster-based Firefly Cancer Awareness and Support charity who take cancer patients to their treatments at Weston Park free of charge.

So far, the money raised has helped buy Firefly two new vehicles, funded six young people with neuroblastoma through an immunotherapy trial and helped research into lymphoblastic leukemia.

Earlier this year, Sarah also organised a ‘Bring your Breastie’ night which raised £9500, and gained national support for breast cancer and Firefly, after a friend of the couple was diagnosed with both breast cancer, and secondary brain cancer. 

And, next year she will be holding a ‘Bring your Testie’ event for men. 

Sarah and Paul - who also runs his own building company alongside - work tirelessly fundraising throughout the year, and are eventually hoping to find a local celebrity who will attend and endorse the event each year.

Sarah added: “There is only me and my husband, we don’t have a committee. We have Paula Davey on board who is amazing and helps out massively.

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“When we have feedback that the six children the money has helped are doing well, that’s great to hear and what keeps us going.”

The ball will be held on November 10, at the Doncaster Deaf Trust on Leger Way, with Capital FM breakfast show hosts Adam O’Neil and JoJo Kelly, various entertainment and an array of ‘money can’t buy’ auction prizes. 

This year the hope is to fund another vehicle for Firefly, who are a volunteer-run non-profit organisation, which would mean they had six vehicles in total.

Tickets for this years event sold out in 48 hours, with a waiting list of guests who also want to attend.

For celebrities who want to get involved, or for more information visit the Equinox ball website or email equinoxball@gmail.com