Civic dignitaries from Staffordshire, Warwickshire, France and Germany will be among around 200 invited guests in Tamworth this week for the biggest event in the annual Mayoral calendar.
Mayor of Tamworth, Cllr John Chesworth, is looking forward to hosting the 2018 Civic Ball at Drayton Manor Park on Friday, February 16, when he will welcome colleagues from across Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Tamworth’s twin towns of Vaujours in France and Bad Laasphe in Germany.
As well as giving Mayors the chance to celebrate their year in office, the annual ceremony is also one of the main fundraising events for the Mayor’s charity fund.
Mayors organise a number of charity events throughout the year, but the Civic Ball usually adds a significant amount to the pot. At the end of their term in office, funds are allocated to charities of the Mayor’s choosing.
Cllr Chesworth is aiming to support a number of causes, but has nominated Tamworth & District Scouts as his main chosen charity. The Mayor is a newly-qualified assistant Scout Leader and a former Scout himself and the Mayoress, Tereasa, is an Akela, so it’s a cause close to their hearts.
“We’ve held a number of fundraising activities and have more in the pipeline, but the Civic Ball is usually the biggest. The event is self-financing through ticket sales and there are various fundraising activities on the night which contribute to the Mayor’s Charity Fund,” the Mayor said.
“I wanted to focus on young people with my chosen charities this year to highlight some of the good things that are taking place with Tamworth youngsters.
“There are around 900 Scouts in Tamworth and they do such good work but rely on relatively small numbers of volunteers. I know they always welcome donations towards the cost of activities.
“I’ve been to various other civic events during my term so far, but the ball is the biggest event that I’ll be hosting myself so I’m really looking forward to welcoming all my guests for the celebrations and fundraising.”
As Cllr Chesworth approaches the last few months of his time as Mayor, he has reflected on what has been a ‘fantastic’ year so far.
“I knew Tamworth was full of great people and great organisations, but until I became Mayor I didn’t realise just how much is going on in the town. I’ve met people I wouldn’t have had the chance to meet otherwise and visited places I wouldn’t have visited, so it’s been an amazing journey of discovery,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to seeing what the next few months hold before the final honour of sharing the Mayor’s Charity Fund among some of the very worthy causes we have here in Tamworth.”
Serving as Mayor this year has been a particularly significant honour for Cllr Chesworth as it is exactly 30 years since his father Peter wore the town chain.
“It has been a great honour to follow in my father’s footsteps, in the 30th anniversary of his year as Mayor. I’m just sorry he wasn’t here to see it,” Cllr Chesworth added.
Civic Ball guests will be entertained by members of the Landau Forte QEMS choir. Representatives from the Scouts and Air Cadets will also be on hand to raise awareness about their work.