Mad Hatters have a ball for Leamington charity - The Leamington Observer

Mad Hatters have a ball for Leamington charity

HATS were stealing the headlines at a charity ball where more than £65,000 was raised for Molly Olly’s Wishes.

A marquee at Billesley Manor near Alcester was decked out in a Mad Hatter’s theme for the 9th annual Molly Olly Ball. Sporting wacky headgear, more than 500 guests were greeted by playing cards and led through a topiary garden by The Queen of Hearts and a rabbit to begin a magical evening of entertainment and fund-raising.

The line up included magicians, illuminated dancers gliding on hoverboards and pixel poi jugglers

The evening featured a variety of fundraising activities including charity auction when prizes such as a Portugal holiday, diamond necklace and signed Aston Villa shirt were bid on. And it was all presided over by The Mad Hatter himself – alias Molly’s dad Tim Ollerenshaw.

It marks the culmination of months of preparation by the Molly Olly team who have been busy creating props as well as decorating the marquee.

Molly Olly’s Wishes was established in 2011 following the death of Rachel and Tim Ollerenshaw’s eight-year-old daughter Molly from a rare kidney cancer.

The Warwick-based charity works to support children with terminal or life-limiting illnesses and their families and help with their emotional wellbeing as

well as grant wishes and donate therapeutic toys and books to both children directly and to hospitals throughout the UK.

Mascot of the charity is a therapeutic toy lion called Olly The Brave who has his own Hickman line and a detachable mane which helps to explain and normalise the effects of chemotherapy. These form part of an Olly The Brave pack that has now been handed out to more than 40 hospitals, along with a book from the charity’s exclusive Olly The Brave series.

Part of more than £2m raised to date, has also been used to fund the first Molly Olly consultant in paediatric medicine at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

Rachel Ollerenshaw said: “It was an amazing night that would not be possible without the help and support of so many companies and individuals, who sponsored, gave time, prizes and all manner of the things to ensure as much money was raised as possible to help support children with life-threatening illnesses.”

Visit for further details.

* JUMP In Trampoline Park in Warwick is collecting gifts for Molly Olly’s Wishes who will in turn distribute them to children in hospitals across the area.

The Hermes Close park will be accepting new toys for children and young people aged up to 18 until Christmas Eve.

Visit for further details.

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