Evening Star editor Nigel Pickover admits he’s taking a £10,000 gamble with this year’s Ipswich and Suffolk Press Ball.
The paper aims to raise £25,000 for disabled children through the fourth annual Press Ball.
With all tickets sold, Mr Pickover is confident that the fund will reach £15,000 before the event but admits: “There is a 10k gamble that we are going to persuade the audience on the night that our cause is just and that the money should be forthcoming.”
The last of the 270 £50 tickets were sold two months ago but the paper is continuing to encourage interest in the event with a special Press Ball website, explaining how the money will help and counting down in seconds to the night.
Mr Pickover revived the York Press Ball while working for the Evening Press and decided to launch one in Ipswich after moving to the Evening Star. The first, in 1997, raised £3,000, the second £6,000 and last year’s £21,000.
“We thought for the Millennium that we would go for a really big target,” Mr Pickover said.
Once again, proceeds will be distributed through a charity, Disability Care Enterprise, to local children like autistic Joe Squirrell – who received a special car seat from money raised last year – and the paper will follow up with stories on how youngsters have benefited.
Mr Pickover said: “Press balls used to be a big thing in the regional press industry and press balls today are back.
“It’s good branding for the title and it has a really meaningful mission. The way I describe it is that we have a magic wand and it has to be very carefully used, and then we can enjoy a good evening and sort out some serious problems that the NHS can’t or would never solve.”