A packed Legends Lounge celebrated another year of service to the communities of Teesside at the MFC Foundation dinner.
Sponsored by Vistech and hosted by Gary Philipson, the inspirational evening mixed fun with hard-hitting stories of our work throughout the area, captured in words and pictures in the programme for the event which once more was kindly sponsored by Middlesbrough College.
Head of Foundation Lynsey Edwards spoke of her pride in the work of her team, Vistech’s Paul Heeran outlined why he was so keen to sponsor the dinner for a third successive year and guest speaker Richard Kilty movingly outlined his own journey which could so easily have gone down another route, not one which took him to the Olympic Games and become the European indoor sprint champion.
Two awards were presented. The Foundation Programme of the Year went to Roary’s Academy. For the little ones, this is a football development school for children aged between two and six aiming to build self-esteem and confidence while developing fine and gross motor skills.
There were joint runners-up in this category, Football Welcomes, a programme for refugees and asylum seekers who have fled oppression and war in their own country. Many participants have gone on to work for the Foundation, keen to give back to a welcoming community.
The other joint runner-up was Think With Your Feet. A football-led programme that brings together people who have been affected by mental illness.
It was a participant from that programme who was named Participant of the Year. Darren ‘Frankie’ Renshaw has overcome significant personal challenges to now be in a position to help others. Clearly emotional, Frankie probably received the loudest applause of the night when, well out of his comfort zone, he went up to receive his prize.
Award-winning photographer Tom Banks captured the essence of it all on an evening where there was a greater appreciation of our work and vital funds were raised for the Foundation through auctions and a raffle. Have a look through the extensive gallery below to see if you feature on an evening which was rounded off in style with a set from local band Flat Back 4.
Thank you to everyone who played some part in making this a very rewarding and very successful event, especially the catering and service staff from the club who were, as ever, on top form.
For a bigger version, click on each image.