The Golden Ball in memory of Harry Faulkner

Harry Faulkner Ball 2On Saturday 19th December 2015, five very special friends put on a ball in memory of our son Harry.

13 months previous to this date over a coffee I was asked how I felt about them organising an event to raise money and awareness for CRY. My reply was how honoured I would feel that they would do such a thing. To be honest my head was all over the place and looking back I was probably a little vague.

From that moment on the planning and organising began.

The discussions were what we shall call this ball. It was agreed “The Golden Ball” as Harry was often referred to by his uncle Steve as Golden Balls as he could not do a thing wrong.

We were truly thankful for the generous donations and sponsorship that we received from the local community, friends, family and some big companies donated an amazing range of prizes.

The catering was done by Simon Haffenden, who was the chef at Lockers Park Harry’s prep school. When Simon was told about the ball his reply was “it would be a pleasure, and I would like in some way to show my respect for Harry, and this would be a perfect opportunity” He was also joined that night by the catering staff from Lockers who were there at the school when Harry was too.

Harry Faulkner Ball

The waiters, waitresses and bar staff were my friend’s children, most of whom did not know Harry, who gave up their Saturday night to work for free to support this charity.

The ball was held at Berkamsted School where Harry was in sixth form. Without the generosity and support of the school the money raised would not have been so high.

The room was full of friends, family, colleagues, teachers, Governors, friends of friends and his group of special friends that I call my “Berko boys” who have been such a huge support to me for the last 3 years.

Harry Faulkner Ball 3

I never imagined from our first conversation November 2015 that these five amazing ladies would succeed in putting on a ball that was such an amazingly successful night and one so thoroughly enjoyed by all who came.

The ladies worked incredibly hard in planning the ball and for this I am truly grateful and no words can ever tell them how much love and appreciation I have for them all.

Harry Faulkner Ball 5

The ball raised an AMAZING £21,394,79.

To date we have screened over four hundred children from Harry’s charity and will continue next autumn with our third round of screening at Berkhamsted school.

Good friends help you find important things when you have lost them. Things like your smile, your hope and your courage.

When life is tough, you find out who your real friends are.

Thank you

Carolyn, Julie, Susanna, Tracey Evans and Tracy Pollard.

Harry Faulkner Ball 4Speech by Mike Andrews:

Good evening ladies and gentleman. My name Michael Andrews, an old school friend of Harry’s from Berkhamsted and I have been asked to say a few words for you tonight. I would like to start off by saying thank you to the catering staff for the delicious meal, to the school for letting us use this grand location and to Donna and her team for putting on such a fantastic event for such a worthy and noble cause.

When I was first asked by Donna to say a few words, I found myself extremely nervous. Not only from fear of messing up and feeling the burning ridicule from my friends, but because I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to do justice for an incredible friend and loved one, Harry Faulkner.

When I was thinking themes for this speech, I considered topics such as his incredible sporting career, the friend he was to so many us or the beloved family member of what has to be the most beautiful family I have ever met. But the word I always found myself coming back to was legacy. The legacy I talk about is one of hard work, passion and determination. The legacy of harry Faulkner.

I want to look at Harry’s legacy in three ways. Firstly, the legacy left with CRY. A fantastic charity which has done so much to help so many people. Every week in the UK, at least 12 young die from undiagnosed heart conditions, meaning that each week 12 families are devastated and torn apart by the tragic loss of life, as we all know so well from that fateful day in February 2013. But the legacy of Harry has led to so much good being done in the local community. November last year, CRY screened over 200 students from Berkhamsted school for heart problems. The small number found to have underlying issues have received the appropriate care and whilst 99% were found to be young, fit and healthy, it means that the parents of those sixth formers can rest easy at night. Words cannot describe the gratitude we have for the work do in protecting our youth and reassuring families everywhere.

Secondly is the legacy that has been left with Harry’s family. A tragedy such as this is incomprehensible to most but the way in which the family has united and persevered is truly incredible. Harry loved his family so much and I can say without an ounce of doubt just how proud he would be of you all. Proud of Charlie, who has become a member of Berkhamsted School and by all accounts is turning into quite the sports legend herself. Proud of his uncle, Stephen, who seems to have an incredible gift for getting us old friends of Harry rather tipsy every time he sees us. And finally, how proud he would be of his parents, Donna and Stefan, who continue to demonstrate what it means to persist and still make the most of life. Harry’s legacy is lived out by you all every day. We could all learn something from you.

And finally, the legacy that Harry has left with us all. The reason I decided to talk about legacy is because it is the only true way to remember Harry for the man and friend that he was. He has taught us more about life than any other could. His ethic of hard work and passion impacts me every day as I consider, what Harry would do. This is perfectly summed up by the huge effort and attendance made by all here tonight. His legacy wouldn’t be as profound without your help and support and he will never fully leave us as long as we continue to remember him for who was, the best of us.

So, I ask you to raise a glass. A toast to those who organised tonight, to Harry, and finally to all of you. The legacy of Harry Faulkner will continue to live on thrive in all us and for that we thank you.