WHSmith has showed time and again how adept it is in achieving impressive figures with the retailer’s charity fundraising at its recent 225th anniversary event continuing this trend – raising over £215,000 for its Stand Up To Cancer campaign in conjunction with Cancer Research UK.
The greeting card industry put in a good show at the high street retailer’s Charity Ball with those from Abacus, Arabesque, Danilo, Emotional Rescue, GBCC, Hallmark, Ling, Mint Publishing, Paperlink, Paper Rose, Pigment, Portfolio, UKG and Woodmansterne among the 900+ audience at the extravaganza which took place at London’s Evolution (formerly home to Battersea Power Station).
The event, that was hosted by comedian Alan Carr also included performances from Kaiser Chiefs, Olly Murs, magician Dynamo and former MP and author Sir Jeffrey Archer.
Also at the event were celebs Richard & Judy and Kirstie Allsopp.
Echoing the views of the cardies who attended, Claire Castle, WHSmith’s senior buyer of greeting cards said: “It was a fantastic night, one to remember for a long time.”
The charity ball forms part of a year of celebrations to mark the 225th anniversary of the retailer which involves a pledge to raise over £2 million for a trio of charities voted for by WHSmith employees; Cancer Research UK, Mind and National Literacy Trust. The retailer’s employees, including those from its greeting card team have undertaken physical challenges as part of the fundraising efforts.
The origins of WHSmith can be tracked back to 1792 when Henry Walton Smith opened a small newsagent store in London’s Little Grosvenor Street. (This was initially known as HS Smith, though later the first two letters were transposed to arrive at the current trading name) Little did Henry know that his retail venture would go on to become the first chain store company in the world.
In the year when the first store opened, George Washington was serving as the first American President, France’s King Louis XVI went on trial for high treason and crimes against the state and Ludwig Van Beethoven received his first lesson in music composition. Over WHSmith’s duration the UK has seen ten regimes of kings and queens, the creation of the United Kingdom and the abolishment of the slave trade, Big Ben rang for the first time and the first electric light was invented – something which gave the Kaiser Chiefs good reason to sing their hearts out and Dynamo work his magic.