The Born Free Foundation Freedom Ball

Pollyanna was pleased to be a guest at a glamorous Born Free Foundation event recently – their Freedom Ball, held in a sumptuously decorated marquee on London’s South bank.

The ball was hosted by Martin Clunes, who as well as being a Born Free Patron has kindly supported the Pollyanna Pickering Foundation, and drew the winning ticket in our 2005 prize draw.

The evening opened with Zulu dancers from Durban, followed by a safari themed quiz, and performance artists dressed as golden leopards. CEO Will Travers introduced his mother, Virginia McKenna to the stage – her moving address was rewarded with a standing ovation. Kiki Dee sang an emotional version of the song Born Free despite a little technical difficulty with the microphone! The Auction was hosted by comedian Graham Norton, who recently visited Ethiopia’s Bale Mountains to report on the world’s most endangered member of the dog family, the Ethiopian Wolf.

Pollyanna sat with newsreader Jan Leeming (picturesd above left) during the African themed meal – and the two exchanged survival stories from Pollyanna’s expeditions and Jan’s stint in ‘I’m a celebrity, get me out of here!’. So far, Pollyanna has not been required to eat any live insects or kangaroo testicles on her travels……

The Born Free Foundation can count many celebrities among their supporters – also spotted on the evening were Fame Academy’s David and Carrie Grant (above with Pollyanna), Joanna Lumley, Jenny Seagrove, Pet Rescue’s Wendy Turner-Webster with her husband Gary, Eastender’s Wendy Richards and Coronation Street’s Helen Worth, DIY presenter Nick Knowles and fashion designer Scott Henshall. Pollyanna was pleased to catch up with GMTV presenter Fiona Phillips, and Winnie Kiiru, the wildlife Consultant from Born Free Kenya.

The Pollyanna Pickering Foundation was pleased to donate £1000.00 towards the wonderful total of £150,000.00 raised during the evening.

Pollyanna chats with GMTV presenter Fiona Philips (left)

Pollyanna catches up with Winnie Kiiru (left) , the wildlife Consultant from Born Free Kenya.

Visit www.bornfree.org for more pictures from the ball, and to learn more about the Foundation's work with wildlife.

“We called it the Freedom Ball, which may sound strange as many animals and humans are in captivity. But Nelson Mandela showed us that when the spirit is free, the chains are powerless. Born Free has been able to bring lions and leopards from stark captive conditions to the sympathetic natural environment of the Shamwari Game reserve….. they can walk on the grass, feel the breeze, hear the wild sounds of the bush. Freedom is a beautiful word”

Virginia McKenna