ILKLEY Candlelighters are celebrating 35 years of fundraising for children's cancer services in the Yorkshire region.

In this time this small group has raised well over a million pounds and in recognition of this achievement, Ilkley Candlelighters along with Harrogate Candlelighters were given a special award in recognition of their longstanding contribution to children's cancer services in Yorkshire. Committee members attended the first ever Candlelighters Award event held at the Centenary Pavillion at Elland Road, Leeds to receive the honour.

Now they are building on their success and are busy planning their annual fundraising ball. This year it is entitled 'To the Moon and Back' and takes place on May 6 at Rudding Park Hotel in Harrogate.

Claire Parr, publicity officer for Ilkley Candlelighters said: "It is a romantic theme this year, slightly La La Land but more glamorous. The preparations and planning started way back last September but reach a crescendo at this time. With nearly 500 people attending there is a lot of work to be done. As always the gathering of prizes both big and small involves every person in the group. Sponsorship of the event is also very important in order to maximize profits which all go to the charity."

All money raised by The Candlelighters Charity goes towards helping make life for teenagers and children undergoing treatment for cancer in our area as good as it can be. It also provides support for their families. For example provision of a play therapist, holidays, parent accommodation, enhancement of wards and the radiography department to provide a more child friendly atmosphere and much more besides.

Ilkley Candlelighters specifically raises money for crucial research into childhood cancers in the Candlelighters laboratory and in the new brain tumour laboratory, in epidemiology and many other areas. This was specified by Rosemary Fisher when she founded the charity, as her son had suffered from a very rare form of cancer and she was desperate to promote research so noone would have to go through what her son and her family did.

In addition to the ball Ilkley Candlelighters are working with a jazz group called Classico Latino who are appearing at the King's Hall, Ilkley on

Saturday, May 13. The group are donating a percentage of their ticket sales to the charity.

Their music is South American in style but unusually, played on classical instruments. The group met at Cambridge University and were trained as classical musicians. It was at the university that Classico Latino was born. Now they work with a number of others and for this concert will be joined by some local artists including the Ilkley Operatic Society.

If anyone is interested in any of theses events or in donating prizes or sponsorship or can help in any way, contact chairwoman Alison Clay either by email or by telephone at 01756 797674. If you would like a table go to the Ilkley Candlelighters Ball website .

Tickets for Classico Latino can be purchased at the Box Office 01274 432000 or at, or