IT WAS an afternoon to remember today when 100 lucky children were invited to a charity celebration in one of Leeds’ bustling restaurants.
Clutching their ‘golden tickets’, pupils from Parklands Primary and other young guests arrived at Argentine eatery Gaucho for a slap-up lunch and some very special surprises from the team at Radio Aire’s Cash for Kids.
Appeal manager Lisa Williams said: “To see the smiles on so many children’s faces today was just amazing.
“It really will make a difference to their Christmas.”
Former X Factor contestant Tom Bleasby, who comes from Leeds, performed during the party and even sang Happy Birthday to one guest.
“I’m so proud to be involved with the hard-working and dedicated team at Cash for Kids,” he said. “It’s vitally important that those who are deprived, in particular children, should still have a special Christmas.
“It was an honour for me to perform for everyone.”
Leeds street dancer and national champion Junior Frood also wowed everyone when he showcased his skills.
Staff at the restaurant in Park Row gave up their spare time to host the festivities for the third year running, while its suppliers donated all the food to show their support.
A spokeswoman for the restaurant said: “It’s the third year we’ve done the beneficiaries lunch.
“Cash for Kids is a great cause and all the staff and suppliers wanted to make this a special day for the children.”
And all the hard work of those backing the event paid off as the children left with smiles on their faces.
Parklands headteacher Chris Dyson took to Twitter to praise the team for giving everyone a “Christmas to remember” and declared Tom’s performance a “showstopper”.
The beneficiaries Christmas lunch is just one of the ways Cash for Kids works to make life better for children in Leeds and West Yorkshire who are sick, deprived, in need of a little extra support or simply deserve a treat. But it would not be possible with out generous donations from the public and the likes of Gaucho.
Lisa said: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to Gaucho and the entertainers. They kids were just blown away.”
The charity is now looking ahead to another busy year, with details of its first major fundraiser of 2017 expected in the coming weeks.