180 guests enjoy ball for Annabelle Griffin - who has a rare genetic condition

This Is Lancashire: Annabelle Griffin singing at the ball with Open Mic UK finalist Emilia Ward Annabelle Griffin singing at the ball with Open Mic UK finalist Emilia Ward

A GLITTERING ball saw 180 guests raise more than £3,000 for a charity which aims to “make the invisible visible”.

Brandlesholme charity Annabelle’s Challenge hosted the glamorous event at The Village Hotel in Bury in aid of national organisation EDS UK.

The challenge is named after five-year-old Annabelle ‘AJ’ Griffin, who suffers from Vascular Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (VEDS), the most serious form of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS).

The rare genetic condition causes collagen deficiency and means Annabelle is at daily risk of her internal organs and arteries spontaneously rupturing.

After 12 months of tireless campaigning and with £18,500 raised to date, her parents Sarah and Jared Griffin, of Wilby Close, celebrated their achievements with a night to remember.

The ball, hosted by Tower FM’s Jon Holling, was attended by Deputy Mayor of Bury Cllr Sharon Briggs, Deputy Mayoress Shirley Rabbitt and Bury Council leader Cllr Mike Connolly.

On the night, £3,115 was raised through an auction, raffle, Creative Camera photobooth and donations from Bury College and Tottington High School.

Mrs Griffin said: “I am so grateful to all who attended the ball, and pleased that they had a lovely time helping us raise awareness of EDS. The support we receive is brilliant”.

Guests were entertained with a live performance by Open Mic UK finalist Emilia Ward, whom Annabelle joined on stage to sing Disney’s “The Glow” which received a standing ovation.

Mr Griffin said: “Emilia is patron of our charity and to see them both sing live together was amazing, and some of our guests were very tearful.”

After dinner, an emotional speech was given by Lara Bloom, chief operating officer of EDS UK, who explained the reality of living with the condition.

There was also entertainment from The Legend of Swing band and DJ Dave of Ice Entertainment. For more details on the charity go to annabelleschallenge.org

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