A MASQUERADE ball at the Royal York Hotel is set to raise hundreds of pounds for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

The event in the hotel's conference and events centre on Saturday, March 10, is being organised by Sara Newson, 24, of Sand Hutton.

"It will be a black tie event with masks - Venetian style face masks, hopefully," she said.

"It will raise money for the air ambulance, but also for the Brooke Hospital, which helps horses and donkeys in poor countries."

She said she had been involved in a major aciddent last July on the A64, near York, and the air ambulance had been called out.

"Although they weren't needed, it helped me to appreciate the importance of the service," she said.

She said she got the idea for the masquerade after organising a surprise 30th birthday evening for her husband Glenn last March at the Royal York.

"Everybody enjoyed it so much and had such a good time that they said we would have to do it again.

"I mentioned it at work and it developed from there. I decided would be best to do if for charity and have some games to get everybody involved. It went from being a small do to a 250 person event. I wanted to make it an affordable event by raising money.

"I go to a lot of balls - I enjoy going - but they are all the same. I wanted something a bit different and less formal and more fun."

She said people could buy their masks, which were for example available on the Internet, although she planned to make her own.

"Tickets are £35 a head, for tables of 8 to12, and include a three course meal. After the meal, there will be a game of heads and tails followed by dancing to Morris & The Minors, a nine piece party band, and a DJ.

"A photographer will be on site for much of the early evening, allowing guests the chance to purchase individual and group photographs. A donation will be made from each photograph purchased.

"Guests will have the opportunity to pre order wine for the evening at a reduced price, and money from each bottle will be donated to charity."

Anyone wanting a ticket can phone Sara on 01904 468616 or 07940 075660 or email: saranewson@hotmail.com