Page last updated at 08:12 GMT, Thursday, 25 September 2008 09:12 UK

Economic woes 'hit charity ball'

An annual fundraising ball due to be held in the Sussex city of Brighton has been called off, with organisers blaming the economic slowdown.

Over the last two years the Brighton Ball has raised more than 80,000 for breast cancer charities in Sussex, largely supported by local businesses.

Organisers said only half of this year's ticket allocation had been sold for next month's event.

However, the Pink & Purple Ball on 18 October is still going ahead.

Last year 500 people attended the Brighton Ball, but only 280 of the 75-a-head tickets were sold for this year's event on 11 October.

Bra and pants

Stephanie Drury, organiser, said: "I think what's happened is they [local businesses] are obviously having to make cutbacks, redundancies, things like that.

"I think their worry was they'd come along, sponsor a big event and then they'd make someone's role redundant so it was really important that they focused on their staff which we completely understood."

Cricket gear signed by the Sussex squad, Jeremy Clarkson's pants, and Jenny Bond's bra were among items due to have been auctioned this year.

Organisers have said those who have already bought tickets will be refunded, and that they remain hopeful the event can be re-instated next year.


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