The new James Bond movie is providing a licence to thrill audiences – and to raise money for a hospice.
The Pendine Park care organisation is joining forces with Barclays Bank to organise the regional charity gala featuring the 007 blockbuster, SPECTRE.
The event will be held at the Odeon Cinema at Eagles Meadow shopping centre in Wrexham on Tuesday October 27 – just the day after it has its UK premiere – with all the proceeds going to Nightingale House Hospice.
They will be taking over one of the screens at the Odeon and instead of being asked to pay for their seats film-goers, who are invited to come along wearing Bond-style finery of tuxedos and evening gowns, will be asked to make a donation to Nightingale House.
Fans will make their way into the cinema past a couple of Aston Martin cars – Bond’s transport of choice – parked outside and try their luck in a grand auction with 007-themed prizes.
Pendine Park proprietor Mario Kreft MBE said: “My wife Gill and myself are both massive Bond fans so when the chance came up to take over one of the Odeon’s screens for the night for a fundraising event marking our 30th anniversary and supporting Nightingale House we just knew it had to be all about the latest film, which comes out that very week.
“We’re not selling tickets but we do expect people to make a healthy donation so that the hospice gets maximum benefit from what promises to be a really memorable occasion.
“Nightingale House is a real asset to the local community and I’d like to thank everyone involved in planning this fantastic event.”
According to Paul Ffoulkes, Barclays’ corporate relationship director who has played a major role in the arrangements, is a great opportunity to make as much money as possible for a great cause while having a feast of Bond-style fun.
He said: “Barclays have worked with Mario and Gill Kreft from Pendine for all their 30 years in business and we’re also the bank used by Nightingale House, so when it came to backing this great event we just had to be involved.
“Pendine has taken all 150 seats in Screen 7 – or should I say 007 – for the screening and through our contacts we’ll be encouraging people to come along and support the evening.
“All money donated on the night in lieu of tickets will go to Nightingale House and we’re asking members of the invited audience to put in at least £20 each.
“Barclays will be supplying match funding of up to £2,000, so we stand to raise around £5,000 for the hospice, which is an excellent local cause.
“We’ll also be keeping well in the Bond spirit by offering his favourite tipple of martinis – stirred and not shaken – for the grown-ups and popcorn for the youngsters.
“There will also be a raffle with some fantastic prizes on the night.
“I’m a big Bond fan myself, so I personally can’t wait for the evening.”
Also closely involved in planning the charity gala is Wrexham-based businessman and hospice trustee board member Paul Maddocks – known by fellow organisers as “M” after Bond’s famous controller.
He said: “I’m also a big Bond fan, especially since Daniel Craig, who hails from Chester, took over the iconic role, so it was a real pleasure to give our big event a strong 007 theme.
“I’ve known Mario Kreft for many years as my gran was a resident at his Bryn Alyn home until she died at the age of 98.
“It’s great that he’s chosen to host what promises to be a very special evening to mark Pendine’s 30th anniversary and I’d like to congratulate Gill and himself on reaching this milestone.
“I’ve arranged to have two Aston Martins parked outside the Odeon on the night – one a vintage model and the other a little newer – both kindly being loaned by my friends.
“We’ll be having a big auction on the night and although I’m still arranging the prizes, they’re likely to include some autographs associated with the Bond films and perhaps an Aston Martin driving experience.
“As a trustee of the hospice I know it needs £7,700 a day just to exist, so it’s important that we arrange fundraising events such as this to make sure that happens.”
Odeon manager Andy Elvis was delighted to be providing the venue for such a glittering occasion.
“New Bond films always break all box office records and I’m sure SPECTRE will be no exception,” he said.
“It’s been great to work with Mario from Pendine Park and the guys from Barclays and the hospice in putting this evening together and I know it’s going to be something really special.
“We’ll have lots of our staff helping out on the night because we want everything to go as smoothly as possible.”
One of the “Bond girls” there on the night will be Olivia Thomas, an enrichment co-ordinator at Pendine, who has a degree in the performing arts.
She said: “I’m looking forward to the gala and dressing up in my Bond-style finery as I’m really into Bond films, especially the ones starring Daniel Craig.”
Caroline Siddall, income generation director for Nightingale House, said: “We’re thrilled and delighted that Pendine Park and the Odeon are supporting us in this way.
“The chance to do something like this connected with a new James Bond film comes along only once every few years.
“The Odeon hosted something similar for us some years ago and it ended up as a tremendous and very successful night.
“Everyone is looking forward to it and it should be a fantastic evening.”
She added: “Nightingale House needs £2.8m to keep running this year and as we receive only limited funding from statutory sources, we need to raise £2.2m of this amount ourselves.
“That’s why events such as the one planned at the Odeon as so vitally important.”
In SPECTRE, which is released on October 26, when MI6’s forensics department releases Bond’s personal effects recovered from Skyfall, a cryptic message starts him on a path to a confrontation with the sinister, shadowy organisation ‘SPECTRE’.
While the newly-appointed M fights political pressure on the Secret Service following the destruction of its headquarters, a ghost from Bond’s past returns to haunt him.
Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes and Naomie Harris return for Bond’s 24th adventure, and SPECTRE also introduces Christoph Waltz, Monica Bellucci and Lea Seydoux to 007’s action-packed world.