Special tribute to teenager at Yarmouth racecourse

THERE will be a few butterflies in tummies as well as all around the walls at a fundrasing ball tonight inspired by a popular teenager.

Glittery butterflies will add sparkle and glamour to the design scheme of the chairty event at Great Yarmouth Racecourse, reflecting the dazzling qualities that helped school girl Ria Helsdon cope with the cancer that took her away from her loving family in March.

The event has been organised by Ria’s three best friends Savannah Bradley, Beth Crowe and Sapphire Withers, all 14, who devastated by her death, were determined to channel their grief into something positive that their friend would have enjoyed.

The enterprising trio have sold nearly all the 180-plus tickets to tonight’s event and hundreds more raffle tickets.

They are hoping to raise a sizeable sum for the Make a Wish charity that helped Ria and her family enjoy a treat trip to New York.


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Beth’s mum Angie Crowe said the girls couldn’t have done more to make the event a success, strong-arming a raft of great prizes from local and national companies and selling tickets in school at Great Yarmouth High and on a stall they arranged through the borough council in Market Gates.

Mrs Crowe said the butterfly theme was inspired by Ria who was named after the character in TV’s Butterflies and had a life-long affinity with the beautiful creatures.

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Tonight’s ball, seven months to the day that Ria died and a week before her 15th birthday, was likely to be emotional but uplifting at the same time, Mrs Crowe said, the girls bouyed by excitement and nerves.

The Victory and Trafalgar Suite will be transformed by a mass of twinkly fairy lights and on arrival guests will be handed a glass of champagne. Entertainment includes singer Carol Nicholls, whose repertoire will include songs special to Ria and her family.

Amid the dancing there will be speeches and presentations culminating in the release of lucky lanterns at 11.45pm from the balcony. There is also a hot buffet and table settings set to make the whole effect a gorgeous feast for the eyes.

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