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PAC 10th Anniversary Ball The Landmark Hotel, Marylebone, Saturday 4th November 2023


Click here to watch 10 Years On


Click here to see more photos 

10 years ago, on 6th November 2013, Penguins Against Cancer was created as a small charity. Our launch party was held on 30th November 2013 in the Robens Suite at the top of Guy’s Tower: a venue befitting its origins and celebrated with just 80 friends, family and Alumni – all sporting moustaches!

Remarkable milestones, endeavours and reunions have punctuated the passage of time for this charity and it has grown significantly without losing sight of its mission, values and altruistic foundations. The 10th Anniversary of Penguins Against Cancer (PAC) deserved a celebration of thanks and an opportunity to reflect on a journey of fun, fund-raising and friendship.  Two years ago, Charlie Gush set the date and set the planning wheels in motion: on 4th November this year, 300 guests arrived at the Landmark Hotel in Marylebone for an incredible celebration and what turned out to be the biggest reunion imaginable.


As well as the gathering of friendships spanning 5 decades, it was wonderful to welcome so many new friends from all walks of life discovering PAC for the first time. We are grateful to everyone present for making the event such a spectacular occasion and such an incredible party. I have not seen a dance floor packed from the first song to last since the Halcyon days of ‘Inflam’ and the Hop in Guy’s Bar.


It was also a treat to have so many in attendance who were present at the launch party 10 years ago. Peter Savizon @petersavizon-jazz_singer_ was our singer back then and still melts hearts with his voice. Chris and Ann Howell were there, and have supported PAC from the start, so too Paul and Lu Palmer, Simon and Ruth (Prosser) Howell, Terry Gibson (the Emperor Penguin), Charlie Popplewell and the trustees who were cajoled at the start but are still serving with aplomb today. One such Penguin, at that inaugural dinner who served for 10 years as our webmaster, steps down and we offer heartfelt thanks to David Littlejohns and his wife Ginny. Caroline Small also steps down as PAC Treasurer and we thank her as another unsung hero.

The event unfolded with majestic precision guided by Jeremy Smith @toastmasterjeremy_ our Toastmaster. Fizz flowed endlessly at the Reception as guests arrived and gathered in the oak panelled Drawing Room. The setting was exquisite and the excitement amongst the attendees was palpable as we were ushered through to the Marble Ballroom.  A giant penguin greeted us at the entrance and the silky, crooning tones of Peter Savizon filled the air whilst seats were taken. Special thanks to Oriele Dunbar and ELEMIS. We are so grateful, thanks to Oriele’s involvement and support, ELEMIS luxury gift bags were provided for every guest at their table.  It was lovely to signpost progress though dinner with a secular grace then later a toast to absent friends. The first challenge for Jeremy, however, was to quieten the guests. It was like an 08:30 playground on the first day back after summer holidays; and looking around, it was magical to see so many old friends hugging and waving to long lost chums with the broadest smiles possible and a cacophony of chatter.


The wine, champagne and beer were in endless supply and the banquet food was delicious. Charlie Beardmore (President) gave his President’s address offering context, history, thanks and ‘the’ Penguin Joke. The silent auction was in full swing having been set up and released in advance thanks to Jamie Dunbar. The items on offer were exceptional, and bids were tripping in through the night (Details Below). Raffle Tickets had been sorted by table leaders and collected by 4 student helpers. Then as coffee arrived Pat Gush (Vice President) offered a few words of thanks, wished Happy Birthday to Sally, Sheilah and Breezy and introduced the PAC video, "10 Years On". It was important to show donors and sponsors where their money goes and the video provided an insight into PAC’s origins, the Research Awards and messages of thanks from recipients of grants made to them by Penguins Against Cancer. Our thanks to Imogen Gush for creatively blending the video so powerfully.


The Live Auction immediately followed, led skilfully by our toastmaster. We are grateful to the spotters who assisted him and to everyone who participated, bid competitively and eventually secured auction experiences and packages. The items in the auction were out of this world so our sincere thanks to the individuals and companies who were so kind and generous:

  • Mark Willings arranged a BOODLES JEWELLERY Experience at Harrods which included £4,000 to spend on jewellery, whilst enjoying champagne followed by Lunch in Studio Frantzen: Harrods’ newest and most prestigious restaurant.


  • Rugby Heaven comprised 6 Nations tickets for England v Wales at Twickenham, Pre-Match Lunch, a signed Limited Edition Welsh Rugby Shirt and Alex Corbisiero’s signed England shirt. Thanks to Ben Challacome and Pat Gush.


  • Thanks to Oriele Dunbar, Richard Green and the Landmark for a London experience consisting of Pampering treatments at the House of ELEMIS, a Champagne dinner at ‘28-50 By Night’ Marylebone, and a night at the Landmark Hotel.


  • Sally McMurray donated a week in her gorgeous family Villa in Italy.


  • Marie and John Downie provided a super Wimbledon Experience, donating their Centre Court debenture tickets for 4th July 2024.


  • Pete Davis donated his signed 2003 England RWC winners’ rugby shirt: signed by the entire squad of players after their Victory over Australia in 2003.


  • Thanks to Lu & Paul Palmer who donated their beautiful Cotswold Hide-away for a week, to which we added a classic trio of Wines and Champagne donated by Chris and Caroline Scott.


  • Simon Hughes created a delightful package for cricket fans: 2 premier seats on the balcony in the Members Pavilion at the Oval and a luxury picnic hamper - so we added the England Cricket Shirt: signed by Zak Crawley.


  • Thanks to James Newton for supplying a case of his exclusive family wine - ELIXIRR, from Cape Point Vineyard.  And thanks to Gusbourne Vineyard for their Sparkling Tasting and tour of the estate.


Before the dancing began, ‘Pat’s Magic Raffle’ had to reach new heights befitting the grandeur of the surroundings and the occasion. We are grateful to the table leaders who organised their guests and encouraged the sale of all the tickets on their tables. We are also hugely grateful to those who donated gifts or sourced experiences to make it so special.


Our thanks to Westerham Golf Club for donating a 4 ball and supper; to Pat & Charlie Gush for the voucher for unlimited Sushi for 2 at INAMO London and also for the bottle of Heidsieck Champagne. Our thanks also to the Silent Pool Distillery for donating a Tour and Tasting Experience; to Iain Wilson for donating a bottle of Laphroaig 10-year-old single malt and to the Palmers for the Magnum of NYETIMBER Fizz. Also included amongst these amazing Raffle prizes were these super experiences: M&S Beauty Advent Calendar; a 3 Course meal for 2, with free-flowing prosecco, at Mayfair Lounge and Grill at the Cavendish, London; a London Chocolate Tour for 2; Bottomless Brunch at Coyote Ugly; Bottle of Singleton Single Malt Whisky and finally, a bumper selection of Penguin Socks and Pants. Thank you all for buying tickets: the Raffle raised an extraordinary £6,008.83

As the dance floor pounded to the immaculate sounds of DJ Davie, the PAC Silent Auction closed. What a success thanks to Jamie’s App, early release for those unable to attend and the superb collection of items donated to PAC by those in brackets below. (Silent Auction)

At the inaugural PAC dinner 10 years ago, one deed among many, typified the altruistic bedrock of PAC, when Simon Hughes donated a case of wine to the raffle, won it, put it back into the auction and then bought it for £500. Ten glorious years later, Simon Bunting emulated this selfless generosity with the framed England shirt that he bought in the Auction – he gave it back to PAC, for another Simon to buy ‘next time’!


Thank you all so much for coming, for joining in the celebration and for the immense support for Penguins Against Cancer. The Auctions & Raffle combined and donations on the night raised £33,962. Other donations are still coming in and the total raised overall will be presented to the AGM in December. Please become a member and let that be the legacy from this fantastic anniversary party.


Pat Gush

Vice President

Click here to see more photos 

Silent Auction Items Donated by:

Rugby Ball signed by the 2003 England World Cup team [Ben Challacombe]. Signed England Rugby Shirt: 2023 RWC Bronze Medal winning squad [Jamie & GHRFC]. Signed Tour De France Cycling Jerseys Mark Cavendish – Green Jersey winner 2021 & Chris Froome – Yellow Jersey winner 2017 [Pete Davis]. Painting of Guy’s Consultants Courtyard by our Terry Gibson. Signed Wasps Rugby Shirt [Richard Green]. Holiday Cottage in Cornwall [Guy Barwell]. City of London walking tour: exploring 2000 years of life in the Capital [Clwyd Roberts]. 787 Flight Simulator Experience: 4 hours in the Virgin Atlantic 787 simulator [Cpt John Neyland]. Private Tour of Twickenham Stadium for 12 people. [Ed Sheppard] GHRFC Framed 1989 Canada Tour & GHRFC Vintage HOP Framed Mud Photo [Pat Gush]. Fortnum & Mason Case of Sparkling wine [Charlie Beardmore]. Chapel Down Vineyard – Tasting Experience for 4 guests. St George’s Hill Golf Club 4 Ball [Pat McMurray].

Penguins Against Cancer - 10 Years On

Penguins Against Cancer are grateful to the following for their contribution to this video.

Tom Jackson - Cardiology Lead at Salisbury Hospital. Penguins Captain 2013 - 2015.

Simon Hughes - Consultant Clinical Oncologist at Guy's and St. Thomas', &  PAC Research Committee Lead.

Charlie West - Surgical Registrar at University Hospital Southampton, recipient of the 2021 Fergus Scholefield Cancer Research Grant.

Anna Cogger - Development Director at Target Ovarian Cancer.

Danielle Mercer - Trusts Fundraiser at St. Christopher's Hospice.

Imogen Gush - Medical Student (KCL), & PAC Membership Secretary.

If you're interested in becoming a Member please complete this form, details for standing orders are provided.

Alternatively, if you want to make a one-off donation,  please see the donate page on this site.

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