THE popular awards night which allows the serious businessmen and women driving our economy to leave their suits behind and forget their inhibitions is back for a special Olympics show.
Organisers of the Alternative Business Awards are bringing a sporty theme and some big North East sporting names to its next event.
It is normally a two-yearly affair, but in honour of the Olympics being staged in Britain it is following last year’s success with a special show renamed the Alternative Business Olympics 2012.
It has raised £150,000 for the Percy Hedley Foundation over the seven events, which have been held so far every two years and to mark Britain’s hosting of the Olympics and Paralympics the special event is being held to raise money for a sports academy planned by the charity for people with disabilities.
Co-organiser David Faulkner said: “This is a fun event, but it works to raise money for an important cause. We sent £20,000 to Percy Hedley after last year’s awards and wanted to make an extra effort this year for the academy.”
Newcastle-born runner Mike Mcleod, who won silver in the 1984 Olympics, will be joined by Newcastle United legend Malcolm Macdonald and Cramlington Paralympian gold-medal winning club thrower Stephen Miller will be appearing. Miller, who has cerebral palsy, attended a Percy Hedley school and is particularly pleased to give his backing to the fundraiser.
The charity event not only sees the great and the good of the business world given light-hearted awards but gets them on to the stage to perform their party piece, whether it’s belting out a ballad, telling a few jokes or dancing, cheered on by their peers. There is also the Opportunity Knackered Karaoke Show.
Faulkner, the Liberal Democrat leader at Newcastle City Council, is encouraging the growing list of executives keen to show off their inner showbiz star to take on a sporty song and the audience to reflect the athletic theme when they dress for the night.
“We all enjoy business awards, but business is not all about profits and strategy and widgets. This is a great chance for people in the business community to have fun and celebrate the less serious side of business. The awards are always very popular if you have a sense of humour and can highlight those who don’t always get a lot of publicity.”
Founder John Mowbray said: “It is always such a popular night. People are really looking forward to it. It is a rare chance for people of all ages and all sorts of jobs to get together and have a good time.”
Des Bustard, the Percy Hedley Foundation’s director of fundraising, said: “It’s one of those things people look forward to. Part of it is that it’s such fun and partly it is supporting the Percy Hedley Foundation.
“It’s awards people get because of the affection that people hold them in. It’s a fantastic atmosphere. It’s hard to beat.”
The event takes place at the Mill Volvo Tyne Theatre, from 7pm on Friday, September 14.
Tickets are still available and organisers are keen to receive raffle and auction prizes. To buy tickets, to donate or to offer prizes, contact Sheila Coltman on: 0191 238 1321 or email: email@example.com.