Friends hold a ball to remember

editorial image

Friends of a Wetherby woman who passed away from breast cancer will hold a Memory Ball to raise money for Yorkshire Cancer Research and Breast Cancer Haven, Yorkshire.

Maria Cooper was just 51 when she died in 2011, four years after her diagnosis. Before her death, she raised an incredible £10,000 for charity by organising a ball in 2010 at the Pavilions of Harrogate.

In 2012 Maria’s friends raised £16,000 at a ball organised in celebration of her life and they are hoping to repeat their success at their second Memory Ball in November.

Sue Barlow, who was a close friend of Maria’s for 24 years, said: “I thought it would be a good idea to have a Memory Ball as most people sadly have somebody they would like to remember, whether it be a parent, grandparent, child or friend.

“We’re looking forward to an evening of glamour and sparkle while remembering those that we miss.

“We chose to raise money for Yorkshire Cancer Research in the hope that one day we will beat this terrible disease.

“Breast Cancer Haven is close to my heart as it was somewhere that Maria went to on many occasions while she was recovering from her chemotherapy and radiotherapy. She found it such a calm place amidst her life of endless hospital trips.”

The Memory Ball will take place on Saturday, November 19, at the Pavilions of Harrogate. The black tie event will include a drinks reception, three-course dinner, a large raffle and an auction hosted by Jeremy Hopkinson OBE. Guests will also be treated to a performance by The Casino Band.

Stephanie Jones, Regional Fundraiser at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said: “We’re really honoured to have been chosen as one of the benefitting charities for this wonderful event.

“Maria was an incredible lady who spent the last years of her life trying to help others and the Memory Ball will be the perfect opportunity to remember her and others that we have sadly lost to cancer.

“The money donated to Yorkshire Cancer Research will help to raise awareness of cancer and how to prevent it, promote screening programmes to increase early detection and fund innovative research projects, from diagnosis to end-of-life care.”

There are currently five Breast Cancer Havens in the UK including at The Gateway West in Leeds.

They provide a unique programme of care that links with hospital medical treatment and provide support.

Debra Horsman, Breast Cancer Haven Yorkshire Manager, said: “We are so delighted to have Sue and the Memory Ball Committee’s support.

“The event is going to be a wonderful evening and the perfect way to remember Maria and all the other women and men who have sadly passed away to cancer.

“The funds donated to Breast Cancer Haven, Yorkshire will enable us to continue providing free emotional, physical and practical support to anyone affected by breast cancer. Thank you to everyone who is supporting this special event.”

Tickets costing £49 (tables of 8-12 people) are available by calling 07967 123182 or emailing