PEOPLE from across the borough grabbed their betting chips for a casino night which raised more than £1,500 for two Dorset charities.

Local companies and businesses were urged to lend their support for the black tie event on March 1 at Haven Holiday Park on Preston Road, which raised money for Preston Pre-School and the Dorset Deaf Children’s Society.

Organiser Jacqui Atkinson, 33, lives in Sutton Poyntz and has three children.

She said: “The night was a great success. All of our guests gave so generously on the night enabling us to raise such a fantastic amount of money.

“Everyone had a fantastic night, the casino tables were permanently busy and everyone enjoyed the live music. We raised an amazing £1700. A portion of this will be donated to the Dorset Deaf Children’s Society with the rest going to Preston Pre-School. We couldn’t have made the night a success without the generosity and help from people such as Viva Las Vegas Casino Tables for their professionalism and entertainment.

“Our band Jillie and the Lovecats performed fantastic jazz music and we had four magicians who entertained guests.

“Sue from Balloon Frenzy decorated the venue for free with an amazing balloon arch as well as casino-themed balloons on all the tables. Along with Sweets of Weymouth, Balloon Frenzy also sponsored the casino tables as well as donating raffle prizes.”

Jacqui organised the event with the help of Jo Withers, manager at Preston Pre-School.

Jo said: “I’m delighted we raised more than our target of £1,000 to help the pre-school and the deaf children’s society.

“When I took over the pre-school there were six children here and we were struggling to stay open.

Now there are 35 children we care for.”

For more information visit the Black Tie Casino Night page on Facebook.

  • Jacqui and Jo say that fundraising inspiration came from three-year-old Joe Cartwright who attends Preston Pre-School.

Joe is severely hard of hearing and had cochlear implants – an implanted electronic device that provides a sense of sound to a person who is deaf or hard of hearing – fitted when he was 18 months old.

Preston Pre-School is a registered charity providing care for children from two-years-old until school age.

Joe is also a member of the Dorset Deaf Children’s Society, a charity which provides grants, equipment and information for hearing impaired children and their families.