A MASKED Venetian ball at Winchester’s Prince’s Mead has raised £12,000 for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.

Over 200 parents partied until the early hours at the event held in the co-educational preparatory school’s sports hall at the beginning of May.

Guests were greeted on arrival by a fire eater, bellini cocktails and a bright red Ferrari.

After dinner there was both a live and silent auction, with prizes including a holiday in Antigua, a visit to Aston Martin’s factory and a scarf woven especially for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance by the Whitchurch Silk Mill.

Ball Committee chairman Ali Georgiou said: “It was a wonderful evening.

“We were generously supported by so many businesses in the local area who either sponsored our brochure or gave us auction items.

“Winchester students from the Street Performing Arts course gave the evening some glamour with fire eaters, stilt walkers and masked statues.

“And we were thrilled to have opera singers Claire Rutter and Stephen Gadd entertain us.

“When you arrange something like this you never know if people are going to buy into the theme. But when eveyone arrived we realised how much of an effort they’d all made.

“And obviously, after the cultured bit, everyone danced well into the night.”