Dart RNLI Lifeboat Gala Dinner


Lt. to Rt. Mitch Tonks, Seahorse Restaurant. Chris Tracey, RNLI Dart lifeboat helmsman, Kirk Gosden, Chef at Rockfish, Kevin John, RNLI Dart lifeboat crewman.

Guests at the RNLI Dart Lifeboat Gala Dinner were greeted at the main entrance of the Dartmouth Golf and Country Club by crew members in uniform and escorted to the ballroom where the evening was given an exciting start. The sound of a pager calling the crew to a simulated "shout" was followed by video footage from recent launches.
TV Presenter and RNLI Dart Lifeboat Patron, David Dimbleby, arrived straight from the London train to Totnes, just in time to introduce the evening. To a packed house Mr. Dimbleby explained just what the Dart Lifeboat meant to him personally. To much amusement he recalled several occasions as an amateur sailor when he would have been grateful for the assistance of the Dart lifeboat before it was commissioned in 2007.
The MC for the evening, Kevin John, crew member and new landlord of the Ship in Dock, then introduced Mitch Tonks of the Seahorse Restaurant and Rockfish chef  Kirk Gosden. The pair of them conducted a "Ready, Steady Cook" on stage, using a temporary kitchen supplied by supporter Richard Griffin of local firm RGC Inspirations. Crew members Chris Tracey and Kevin John produced gourmet seafood dishes under Mitch's expert instruction, to the great amusement of all. The menu for the four course dinner was chosen and prepared by Head Chef Robert Walsh and each wine was introduced by St Austell Brewery's Sommelier, Rebecca Mitchell. The main event of the evening was the auction of promises conducted with great flair and panache by Jake Moores, former Commodore of Britannia Royal Naval College and Chairman of the Lifeboat Management Group. Tense and exciting bidding led to the sale of the star prize; lunch on board a nuclear submarine, to two winners! 
Summing up the evening RNLI Dart Lifeboat Branch Chairman, Ed Featherstone, said, "This has been a brilliant evening which has exceeded all my expectations. Thanks to the generosity of those who made promises and the local people who made really substantial bids, we have raised more in one evening than ever before. It will go a considerable way towards the running costs of our lifeboat and the training of the crew. We will definitely want to repeat the event in years to come.
My thanks go particularly to David Dimbleby for finding the time to attend, Jamie Waugh of Dartmouth Golf and Country Club for his expertise and his generous offer of the Club's facilities and to the key organisers Michelle Concannon of Yorkshire Building Society and Kevin John."  

Posted on Tue 27 May 2014 by John Fenton Dart RNLI lifeboat Press officer

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