The mortgage industry turned out in force last week for the seventh Broomstick Ball, held at The Marriott hotel on London’s Grosvenor Square and organised by Deirdre McManus, head of sales at Bristol & West Mortgages.The event is the only one in the industry calendar at which lenders and brokers come together, forget rivalries and join forces to raise money for Cancer Research. McManus started the Broomstick Ball in 1998 when a colleague at Bristol & West was diagnosed with breast cancer. The colleague, Natalie, sadly died two years ago at the age of 33, and McManus has since turned the Ball into a highly successful fund- raising event in her honour. The 2005 ball was sponsored by Bristol & West Mortgages and The Mortgages Times Group, and supported by Halifax and BM Solutions. The event hosted a successful charity auction in which the top quality lots included shirts from footballers Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard, and dinner at the chef’s table at Claridges. These items alone raised 30,000. Mortgage Strategy kindly donated editor Robyn Hall’s job to the auction and John Garfield from John Charcol successfully bid 9,000 for the pleasure of running the industry’s leading magazine for a week. McManus says: “It was a fantastic evening and we raised a tremendous amount of money for Cancer Research. “My thanks go out to the sponsors, advertisers and all those who bid at the auction.” On the night, the event raised 159,000 and since 1998 The Broomstick Ball has raised 377,000 for Cancer Research. Next year, McManus is aiming for 200,000. Anyone who would like to get involved should contact McManus at firstname.lastname@example.org.