02:48AM, Friday 15 August 2014
A final push for tickets sales and sponsors has been launched by the organisers of a black tie ball raising funds for Longridge Activity Centre in Bisham.
It has been six months since PR account director Simon Branney took it upon himself to organise the 'Inaugural Charity Gala Dinner' in aid of the facility in Quarry Wood Road following £100,000 damage caused by rising river levels during the winter.
The 35-year-old, who lives in Lower Road in Cookham, volunteered his time to help Longridge after seeing it on BBC news when the situation was at its worst in January.
He has since rounded up an organising committee of four and sold half of the 120 tickets for the event, which is due to be held on Friday, September 19, at the Macdonald Compleat Angler Hotel next to Marlow Bridge.
As well as a three course-dinner and champagne reception, guests can look forward to stand-up comedy from Karen Dalton and a raffle.
Donated prizes including a tailoring session worth £1,500.
"I wanted to give something back to the community," said Simon, who works at PR company Nobull Communications in Wooburn during the day.
"There is a real positive emphasis and a positive vibe around Longridge and the fun that it instils in people - it has a nostalgic feel to it."
He added: "There is 80,000 children that pass through every year so they have to future proof it."
About 5,000 adults also use the centre annually, which offers a range of water and land-based activities.
So far Longridge has raised the £100,000 needed to get the facility back to where it was.
It is now fundraising to build a series of floating buildings.
Longridge chief executive Amanda Foister said: "The only option is to raise the buildings up, you can shut off a building if the water doesn't come up through the floor."
"We can't keeping going through this winter after winter."
The committee is appealing for local companies to sponsor tables and raffle prizes.
Visit longridge.org.uk and click on 'Give it a try' to buy tickets.
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