The Microscope Ball goes virtual

Published Date
Alice Cachia

The Microscope Ball has been transformed into a virtual event for the first time ever amid the coronavirus pandemic – with a range of impressive prizes up for grabs in its online auction and raffle.

The glamorous ball, a flagship event for Muscular Dystrophy UK and usually attended by leading members of the property industry, was launched 36 years ago after an employee’s son was diagnosed with a muscle-wasting condition.

The event is well-known for its fantastic auction prizes and this year’s virtual ball is no exception. From Friday 9 October 7pm until Friday 16 October 11pm the committee will host an online auction.

Prizes include:

  • A romantic three-night five star getaway at Carpe Diem in Santorini
  • Afternoon tea with Gabby and Kenny Logan at Clivedon House
  • Two tickets to the Euros in Dublin
  • A beautiful, bespoke chair donated by Artemis Interiors and RhubarbChairs

The virtual auction and raffle can be reached here.


A romantic break to Carpe Diem in Santorini is just one of the auction prizes up for grabs

There will also be a raffle competition sponsored by OneStay, who have donated a two-night stay in any chosen OneStay 5* rental across the UK. Each ticket costs just £10 to enter.

The outstanding generosity of property industry members means £42,000 has already been raised – more than a third of their target to reach £100,000 by the end of the year.


The JustGiving donation page is here.


Michelle Anthony, Committee Chair, said:

“The Microscope Ball is close to all the committee’s hearts and it is a privilege to chair this group of extraordinary individuals that make the ball a success year on year.


“For me personally, it is a unique opportunity to donate our collective time and efforts to giving back to a community that was underfunded even before the current crisis unfolded.


“Already we have seen how generous the long term supporters of the event have been by donating the cost of their table from this year’s ball direct to the charity. The Ball may not be happening but we will be asking you all to get dressed up and join the committee by dancing and donating on the 15th October, when the Microscope Ball should have been.


“I know we can rely on the generosity of all our friends and colleagues in the property industry to dig deep, donate and ensure MDUK and the Microscope Ball come back stronger than ever.”

Last year’s event at The London Hilton on Park Lane raised a record £374,000. This topped the 2018 figure of £352,000 and the £355,000 raised in 2017.


The committee gets involved

Harry Foster, Portfolio Director at Landsec, took on MDUK’s 2.6 Challenge. Harry – who usually jogs 5ks – ran 26.2 miles and pushed his young son Freddie in a toy car for his last lap. Harry’s fundraising link is here.

Guy Bowring, Director at Tuckerman, did a 5,000 press-up challenge with his 12-year-old daughter Annabelle over a two-week period. Their fundraising link is here.

Guy said: “I work very closely with MDUK and for their fundraising through the Microscope Ball. I’m acutely aware of the colossal shortfall in funding they face this year and the impact this will have on those dependent on them, due to the cancellation of many fundraising events.”

Jonny Lee, Partner at Knight Frank, ran a marathon over five days with his wife and two friends. His fundraising page is here.

Jonny said: “Many of you know that I love sport but hate distance running. For my challenge, we each ran 26.2 miles in five days to help raise the money needed to keep MDUK afloat.”

The fourth committee member to fundraise was Adam Cradick, Executive Director at CBRE. By kayaking the length of the Thames, Adam smashed his original target and has so far raised more than £4,500. His fundraising page is here.

Other fundraising efforts

Artemis Interiors and Hunter Contracts have also completed a company fundraising challenge of their own. Both companies encouraged employees and clients to fundraise by cycling 100 miles over the course of two weeks.

They donated £50 for every person who completed the challenge and raised £5,560 collectively – £3,360 in fundraising with each company donating £1,000.

ThirdWay Interiors are encouraging employees to take on MDUK’s #Big60Challenge and have raised over £6,000. Almost 50 employees took part and they got creative with their fundraising ideas, from making 60 pancakes in 60 minutes to taking part in a 60-hole round of golf. Their fundraising page is here.

Lorna Poultney, Special Events Manager for Muscular Dystrophy UK, said:

“We are so thankful for both the hardworking Microscope Ball committee and the generosity of the property industry.


“The cancellation of the Ball could have meant the committee decided to have a year off, but instead they have worked harder than ever to ask companies to donate anyway, securing incredible auction prizes and even taking on fundraising challenges of their own.


“Please dig deep, buy a raffle ticket, and help the committee achieve their £100,000 fundraising goal.”

Muscular Dystrophy UK and the Microscope Ball committee would like to say a huge thank you to all the property industry companies who have donated so far:

Ashill, CBRE, Colliers, Derwent, Faithdean, JMW Solicitors, Knight Frank, Landsec, LCA, Oxygen, Quantem Consulting, Redevco, Rougemont, Tribe, and Tuckerman.

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