Dubai & Northern Emirates - British Legion/Poppy Appeal

A missive from the Chairman of the RBL in Dubai, any interest please PM me (I've removed David's last name and personal details from the bottom...just in case)


Poppy Appeal

Dubai & Northern Emirates Branch

Poppy Appeal Functions and Events 2011

Golf Day – October venue and date TBC

Armistice Lunch – 11am 11th November, Jumeirah Beach Hotel

Act of Remembrance – British Embassy, Sunday 13th November 5pm

Poppy Ball – Madinat Jumeirah, Friday 18th November 7.30pm - Black Tie

Poppies will be available for purchase at all events

Dear All,

Poppy Appeal 2011

Thank you so much for your offer of help and assistance no matter how small with this year’s Poppy Ball. This year we will be hosting the Poppy Ball at the Joharah Ballroom at Madinat Jumeirah on the 18th November 2011 starting at 7.30pm. It will be a black tie/mess dress event with miniatures and will include the normal formalities our group has come to expect.

This year is the 90th anniversary of the Royal British Legion and one that should resonate with anyone having a link to the armed forces given the current world situation and our continued involvement in war zones around the world.

Our lead sponsor Crown Relocations has once again stepped up with a sponsorship donation of AED 50,000 and we are looking to add to this with other sponsors and donations. We will also be looking for prizes and auction items to generate funds on the night. Most importantly we will be looking for helpers to assist in the run up to the ball who can collate and distribute table/ticket sales, collect and bank monies received, send out letters to potential sponsors and prize givers and to generally maintain the records of fund raising activities. It has always been our policy that none of the organisers ever make money out of the Poppy Ball and to this end any service or assistance you may provide is considered free gratis from the beginning. That said, all our sponsors and volunteers get a good mention in the program on the night and can be featured in the rolling advertising banner in the room.

The event booking has been made with Jumeirah and confirmed as has the menu details and drinks package. Much of the ballroom requirements have been discussed with the hotel and we now need to determine the final package and requirements for the event.

Much of what we do on the night will depend on the level of sponsorship we attract. I would like to bring in entertainment from outside but the costs are always high. The Dubai St Georges Society turned over in excess of AED 650,000 to hold the St Georges Ball with the Band of HM Royal Marines.

Lighting and sound equipment is always a major expense which is why we have chosen in the past to employ a DJ that has his own equipment and plugs into the hotels sound system. This generally gives us free equipment with some lighting but the sound quality has on some occasions been impaired. We did at one event a few years ago employ a couple of guys with radio experience to act as MC’s for the night at the same time as we had a local singer. The performances were great and people danced away until the early hours and to be honest not too many complaints were presented. Unfortunately the rolling adverts and nostalgic presentation were on one system, the MC’s had speakers of their own which were not synced into the main lighting and sound system we used nor was the DJ setup which appeared to be independent. The singer’s mic seemed to be controlled by two of the above and continuity was a little haphazard. At a recent society event the entertainment decided to change the running order on the night which put out the overall program out of sync by over an hour. This resulted in the raffle not being held before midnight and became a bone of contention towards the end of the night.

The Poppy Ball has always been about the charity and how much we can send back every year. We carry no reserve funds and send back all we receive. Last year the Poppy Appeal sent back GBP 40,000 to UK which was GBP 5,000 up on 2009.

With so much going on in November we are at a constant battle against other functions and events more popular than a Poppy Ball. Our target audience and regular participants seems to dwindle every year. In the UK the RBL has started doing functions and events with Help for Heroes as a way of increasing awareness.

So how can you help? At this stage we are looking for someone or some company who can collate the contacts information we have into some semblance of order and in a way that can be used to import or export the information into preferably an excel file. At this stage anyone who has the time or the resources’ to allocate to this function would be very welcome. Once the details have been recorded we would then send out email notifications advising interested parties of the event details and requesting support.

If you know of any company who may wish to sponsor the Poppy Ball with any amount from 50k to 5k then please pass on their information to me for follow up. If you would like to book a table or just seats then send an email to to secure places.

If you feel you have an expertise or resource that would assist us in the ball or generating funds then please let me know.

Thank you for your interest and support,

With very best regards,

Chairman RBL Dubai
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