A GLAMOROUS ball was held in Almondsbury to celebrate the lives of four people killed in an aeroplane crash two years ago today.

Some 120 party-goers attended Bristol Golf Club at St Swithan’s Park, Blackboy Hill, for the event to raise funds for The Charlie Froud Foundation. Charlie and his friend Ayman Booz, both 14, were killed with Ayman’s parents Margaret and Sharif when their light aircraft crashed in the Wicklow Mountains in Ireland in October 2008.

The tragedy prompted the birth of the foundation, which raises funds for Irish rescue services and Marlwood School in Alveston, where Charlie and Ayman were pupils.

Charlie’s mum Heather, 49, operations manager for Bristol-based Lucy Bristow Appointments, said the evening was a great success. She told the Evening Post: “Great fun was had by all. It was amazing, and was the first of many. “It was a chance for everybody to dress up and the boys looked gorgeous and the girls were stunning.”

More than £4,000 was raised by the ball, elevating funds raised by the foundation for its two causes to £17,000.

The money will benefit the volunteer rescue services whose members risked their lives along with the coastguard and police to search tirelessly for the aeroplane in hazardous weather conditions and rugged terrain. These were Glen of Imaal Mountain Rescue, Mourne Mountain Rescue Team and Dublin Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team.

The foundation also supports Marlwood School PTA’s push to buy a minibus. “Because Charlie was a popular, vibrant, energetic person who loved life and made the most of every moment, supporting these amazing organisations is keeping his memory alive in a positive way for his family and close friends,” added Mrs Froud.
“All contributions go to the causes and none of the money goes towards administration.”

Earlier this month, at Flax Bourton Coroners’ Court, acting coroner Maria Voisin recorded a narrative verdict on the accident, the same as the verdict delivered by the Irish inquest. She said the pilot and passengers had all died of multiple injuries as a result of an aircraft crash, and described it as an “absolute tragedy”.

The inquest heard the four had taken off from Gloucestershire Airport at Staverton, near Cheltenham, planning to spend the half-term break with Mrs O’Kennedy-Booz’s relatives in County Kildare. But the single-engined aircraft, piloted by Mr Booz, smashed into the mountainside as he fought to control it in very strong winds and all four passengers died on impact.