Two North Wales charities have received a £20,510 boost thanks to friends and associates of a popular Assembly Member.
And one of the main winners at the event in memory of the late Brynle Williams was his own son Jonathan, who won a trailer donated by Ifor Williams Trailers to boost the appeal.
Poignantly, the P5e trailer has on it a plaque with an inscription in memory of Brynle.
The evening at the Kinmel Manor Hotel, Abergele, was organised by contractor Huw Howatson from Ruthin, who had been a close friend of the AM since he first rose to prominence during the fuel protests of 2000. The outspoken farmer and politician died in April last year aged 62.
"We were very good mates and, knowing how many people thought the same of Brynle, I thought it would be nice to organise something in his memory," said Huw.
"As it turned out, it proved remarkably easy because people were so willing to donate prizes for the Auction of Promises and give their services."
More than 300 £40-a-head tickets were sold out in two weeks and the evening proved so enjoyable that Huw is now under pressure to hold a second concert.
The performers on the night included tenor Rhys Meirion, mezzo-soprano Sioned Terry, Anglesey teenager Lucy Kelly, Trebor Edwards, Trebor Evans (Gwanas) and pianist Annette Bryn Parri, and the compere and auctioneer was Glyn Owens, another close friend of Brynle’s.
The lots on offer included a helicopter flight with South Wales entrepreneur Dai Walters, a flight to Jersey with Redrow boss Steve Morgan in his private jet, a day with top rally firm ProDrive, whose boss David Richards is from Ruthin , a week in an apartment in Tenerife donated by Mold businessman Malcolm Davies, a bottle of House of Commons whisky signed by the Prime Minister, a Liverpool FC shirt signed by Stephen Gerrard and battery-powered tractors.
Huw himself donated a week’s stay in his Spanish villa, and then donated £1,200 to an appeal by singer Sian Cothi to raise money for cancer research.
The sound and lighting for the evening was organized by Arwel Hughes of Amlwch, another friend of Brynle’s.
The P5e unbraked trailer was bought for £900 by Jonathan Williams, who runs the family farm in Cilcain, and who is a regular customer of manufacturers Ifor Williams Trailers.
Jonathan said: "In total I have five Ifor Williams trailers and so I know how good they are.
"As a family, we would also like to thank Huw and his family for all their hard work in organising the event to raise money for the two charities.
"We would like to thank everybody who supported the evening. Their generosity is greatly appreciated."
"We are very grateful to Ifor Williams Trailers for the very kind gesture in donating the trailer," said Huw.
While he was AM, Brynle visited Ifor Williams Trailers on several occasions and once took a delegation of German visitors to the firm’s factory in Cynwyd.
"It was a very emotional night but very enjoyable, and Brynle would have loved it," said Huw, who said he had a lump in his throat when he thanked all those who had contributed to the success of the evening.
The majority of the £20,510 raised will go to Nightingale House Hospice in Wrexham and the remainder towards research into cancer through the North Wales Cancer Centre at Glan Clwyd Hospital.
John Williams, Managing Director of Ifor Williams Trailers, said: "Brynle was a much-appreciated friend of the company and a great champion for rural Wales.
"Like so many other people, we have many fond memories of Brynle whose passion and good humour is greatly missed."
News » Charity night does Brynle proud