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 2012  MAD HATTER'S TEA PARTY
(What an amazing 40th party)
 
 
The fantastic Diversity
 The fantastic Diversity
 
Sunday 15th January 2012 saw the Great Room of the Grosvenor House rocking when Diversity, Stavros Flatley, the Cheeky Girls, Bournemouth Carnival Band, The Songtimers, Scoil Rince Ryan Lavelle Irish Dance group, acrobatic duo Crazeehorse, Star Dance Club and new Concept boy band all came together to entertain the 650 'special needs' and disadvantaged children invited to the London Taxidrivers' Fund for Underprivileged Children's 40th Mad Hatter's Tea Party in their 84th anniversary year.  The LTFUC were celebrating 40 years of holding these parties, so to hear from so many people that this party has gone down on record as the best one ever is fantastic and overwhelming news for us all, especially knowing that the children had such a great time.
 
We are deeply grateful to the many costume characters, clowns and Pearly Kings and Queens who had come to say hello to the children and give them a warm welcome and we thank the Knightsbridge Household Cavalry for their great assistance in carrying the wheelchairs down to the Great Room, where the children once seated quickly demolished the mountains of sandwiches and cakes on offer, followed by numerous visits to the illuminated chocolate fountain.  LTFUC committee member Alan Cohen MBE made the usual Health & Safety speech and then it was time for the disco to commence.  Amanda of Amanda's Action Club then took to the floor and did a great job getting the children dancing the Hokey Cokey and Agadoo and in no time the atmosphere was buzzing - great fun!
 
household cavalry
 
The LTFUC's Hon. Chair, Susan Angel, welcomed everyone to the party and Henry Singleton of Nando's Restaurants then presented Susan with a cheque in respect of money raised on our behalf by Nando's ten West End restaurants in the run up to Xmas, for which we are deeply grateful.  Susan then surprised Brian Houssart MBE, Hon. President of the Southend Taxi Charity Fund for Children, by calling him on stage and presenting him with a Certificate making him an Honorary Member of the LTFUC, following his help on our Southend outings over the years.  Susan then congratulated compere Dave Davies on his 25th year of working at our parties and we thank him for his past efforts and for also doing such a tremendous job at this party.  We were very pleased to welcome Councillor Robert Davis, deputy Lord Mayor of Westminster and we thank him for giving up his valuable time to be with us.  Great to see him at the chocolate fountain sampling the chocolate covered marshmallows!
 
household cavalry
 
The fantastic Bournemouth Carnival Band's Spidermen were first to appear and they gave their usual amazing performance bringing many smiles to the children's faces and we thank them for all the continued help and support they have given us for very many years.  They were followed by 43 members of the fabulous talented Songtimers clad in pink and black, a brilliant act who had the children singing and clapping to songs from Glee and Lady Gaga.  X-Factor's much loved John Adeleye then sang two songs winning over the crowd with his great voice and personality and then it was time for the first big surprise of the day.
 
household cavalry
 
The fantastic Stavros Flatley appeared on stage to loud screams and gave a tremendous performance, joined later by our great Elvis Shmelvis.  By now the place was buzzing and the crowds were screaming in appreciation of their fantastic act.  Demi and Lagi won everyone over with their Blues Brothers performance , followed by a great Michael Jackson dance from Lagi and there were cries for more when they left the stage.  Our grateful thanks to to Demi and Lagi for coming and giving such a great performance and, of course, to our Elvis.  Young Miller Henderson aged 9 then came on stage and performed a great dance routine with such confidence for one so young and it was then time for Scoil Rince Ryan Lavelle to appear, a brilliant Irish dance group and we thank them for their support and fantastic performance.  It was now time for the Cheeky Girls and they are always welcomed back with open arms, as we all adore them and are so grateful for the continued help and support they have given us for the past 10 years.  After a great performance they tirelessly signed autographs all afternoon.
 
household cavalry
 
It was now time for the character parade with many characters joining us for the first time such as 'Puss' from Puss in Boots, Yojojo from the Piplings, two Power Rangers and a Hungry Horse and along with Peppa Pig and many other characters, they danced a conga round the room, with the children rushing out to join them for the mid disco.
 
household cavalry
 
The next act to follow was the amazing acrobatic duo Crazeehorse and we are deeply grateful to Rebecca and Donovan who, only having just arrived back from the States and about to go to Asia, managed to squeeze in the time to come and perform for us and what an incredible act they were with everyone watching in amazement! We were then treated to a great Latin demo by two young dancers from Star Dance Club, called Lauren & Robson and after their teacher had showed the children some dance moves, it was great seeing the kids up and dancing, well sort of Latin style! Next to follow was new formed boy band Concept, consisting of 5 band members all aged 17 and they were met with screams of delight from all the girls.  They were great boys and we wish them luck for the future and thank them for signing so many autographs for their many new fans.
 
household cavalry
 
The children had been told all afternoon that there was going to be a huge surprise near the end of the party and at last the big moment had arrived.  On came DIVERSITY and they were met with the loudest screams I am sure the Great Room has ever witnessed.  This was the third time that Diversity had attended our party and Ashley reminded us all that when they first came they were virtually unknown and they have returned because they have never forgotten their roots and our belief in them.  After performing a brilliant routine, they then spent ages tirelessly signing hundreds of posters and photos they had brought with for the children.  What great lads they are and worthy of all the success they are now enjoying.  Thank you boys for not forgetting us and thank you Danni for making it happen!
 
household cavalry
 
In between the many acts we were pleased to welcome TOWIE's Lauren Pope and Amy Willerton, winner of 'Signed by Katie Price' and thank them both for signing so many autographs.  We were also pleased to welcome Bobby Lockwood, who plays Mick in Nickelodeon's 'House of Anubis', Pirates of the Caribbean star Windston Ellis and brilliant Australian singer and song writer Luc Floriani and thank them all for giving up their valuable time to be with us.
 
The last treat in store for the children before they left was going through our now famous magicial illuminated grotto, where every child came out the other end piled high with numerous presents and here we must give grateful thanks to Jelly Cats and to the Marks & Spencer girls for their toys and help and Audrey Sherry for her kind donation of the fruit and continued help and support.
 
A    G R E A T    B I G    T H A N K    Y O U
 
To the wonderful 20 Police Cadets from Westminster and Redbridge for all their help in keeping the children safe; PC Rob Wooldridge for the Police Bikes from Metropolitan Police (Alperton) Traffic Garage; Matt Smith of the Mayfair & St James Safer Neighbourhoods Team (Westminster) for the Police tables; 201 Harrow Cadet Attachment; Denise Mountstephens and her wonderful team of facepainters, many having travelled great distances to be with us; the team who worked tirelessly on the balcony providing the hospitality food and drink and here we must say a great big thank you to Dial-a-Cab (Call Sign) for sponsoring the catering on the rink; and also thank you to DG Leisure who did a great job serving 2000 chocolate covered marshmallows; We also thank the many clowns, costume characters, balloonists, magicians, portrait artist and the companies who donated costumes and we are also deeply grateful to Global Marketing Group for donating the flashing novelties.
 
Special thanks also go to the following and as there are so many people to thank,
we sincerely apologise to anyone we may have omitted in error:
 
The Grosvenor House (A JW Marriott Hotel) Management & Staff; their Event Manager Helen McKintosh, along with Annakarin Knuttson and Shelly Boxall; Floor Manager Klaus Lehr; their Technical Manager Ben Behan and electrician Mike Petinou and all the Grosvenor kitchen staff; Sgt. Jack Warner of the City of London Police; Geoffrey Reisel (Radio Taxis); Carol Burwood of ABC Imaging UK; Eyetease Media; Mark Cohen of Trance Art; Sarah Rolls, Genie Events; John Lewis (Window Dressing Dept); Martyn Cohen; Cadbury; UK Garrison; Crest of London; HM Foods ltd; Littlehampton Carnival; Nando's Restaurants; St. John's Ambulance; Radiocoms Systems Ltd; BOC; ITV (London Tonight); OK Magazine; Zodiak Kids; Paramount Pictures; Saban; E1 Entertainment UK; Furry Tail Folk; Additional photography; Patrick Jones, Mark Cooper, Alan Fisher/Alan Green of Dial-a-Cab's Call Sign; Maurice Gilliam, Sarah Perez;
 
 

THANK YOU

 
 
The Hon. President, Hon. Chair and Committee thank everyone involved in any way for helping us to put on this fantastic party for the children and giving them an afternoon they will cherish forever.  As usual, the generosity, passion and enthusiasm of everyone, be it celebrity, entertainer, donor or helper, ensured that this 40th party was the great success it was.  The committee now look forward to next year when we will be celebrating the fund's 85th anniversary with many more exciting events planned for the children.  Thank you to everyone, as without your support we could not continually help hundreds of children year after year, especially in these financially difficult times
 

 NONE WALKS SO TALL AS HE WHO STOOPS TO HELP A CHILD

 
 
Raymond Levy
(Press Officer)
 
 
 (There is now a brilliant video showing the party on our Video Page
and many photos taken on the day can be seen in our photo gallery)