Fundraising

Dinner with General Sir David Richards, Chief of Defence Staff and Sandy Gall

It is our 30th anniversary this year and we held a celebratory fundraising dinner on Monday, October 1st 2012. It also happened to be Sandy's 85th birthday!

To help us celebrate we invited the most distinguished serving soldier in Britain today, General Sir David Richards, GCB, CBE, DSO, Chief of the Defence Staff, to be our main speaker at a black tie dinner at Cliveden House Hotel, the historic and imposing Astor mansion near Taplow, in Berkshire. It was here that Nancy Astor entertained everyone who was anyone - from King George V and Queen Mary, President Roosevelt and Mahatma Gandhi, to Charlie Chaplin and George Bernard Shaw. The tone slipped somewhat when John Profumo met Christine Keeler by the Cliveden swimming pool in the 60s.

Both Sir David and Sandy have had truly outstanding and inspiring careers, and they talked about their lives, adventures and the future of Afghanistan. Lady Richards, Sir David's wife, also runs a charity, The Afghan Appeal Fund, which she started when Sir David went out to command NATO forces in Afghanistan in 2006.  Sir David is the only CDS to have first-hand knowledge of the war in Afghanistan and it is a great honour to have his presence as our principal guest. [For a full account of his mission in Afghanistan see Sandy Gall's recent book, War Against the Taliban.]

After a champagne reception there was a four-course dinner and, during the evening, an exciting auction and a raffle together with Afghan music.

Just under £32,000 was raised and this was shared between SGAA and The Afghan Appeal Fund, which has built and supports eleven schools for Afghan children.

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