A TOWN charity had an unexpected boost ahead of a fundraising gig at the weekend when one of the world’s biggest stars pledged his support.
Hartlepool Families First, which runs a host of activities to help families with problems across town, held a black-tie dinner at The Grand Hotel on Saturday night to try to raise some much-needed funds to boost the coffers.
One of the highlights of the night came from a Michael Bublé tribute act, but unbeknown to the charity, the real Michael Buble had read about the event.
It was picked up on an internet alert after it was posted on the Hartlepool Mail’s website.
And staff were stunned when a letter and a cheque for £1,600 from the Canadian superstar arrived at their Greatham Street base last week.
Paul Thompson, who runs families First, said: “It is an amazing story, and it really has blown us all away to think that a world-renowned superstar is helping a little old charity like us.
“The letter came in a FedEx envelope from Vancouver, and at first we all thought it was a wind-up or some sort of elaborate hoax.
“We rang the number on the bottom of the letter, and I got put through to Michael’s assistant who confirmed it was all above board.
“It turns out he had read the article previewing the event at The Grand after it appeared on the Mail’s website, and then decided to have a look at what we do as an organisation.
“We had said that we raised £1,600 last year in a similar event, and it was our target to reach that amount this time around.
“Thanks to Michael’s cheque, we hit our target before the event even started.”
Paul and his team plan to write a letter to Michael thanking him for his gesture, and will include an update of how the event went and what his cash will be used for.
Paul, from Seaton Carew, added: “It will be nice to tell him what his donation will be used on, to a charity like us it really will make a big difference.
“When we add that cheque to the money we raised on Saturday, it’s safe to say we had a successful evening.
“We really appreciate all of the people who bought tickets for the event, and they were gobsmacked when we told them how our charity had made it all the way to Canada.”