The event brings together corporate clients, business leaders and community champions to raise funds for the Pride Charity while we enjoy an evening of red carpet, black-tie glamour.
On arrival we were greeted with drinks in the sumptuous surroundings of the Victorian hotel before promptly being called for dinner. The tables in the Alexandra Suite were tastefully decorated with fairy tale-like centerpieces – white trees strung with tea lights – and chocolate box favours from the sponsor Rolls Royce.
During the three-course meal we were treated to live entertainment from local vocalist Alexander Stewart before the fundraising auction got underway. This year’s auction was hosted by valuer, auctioneer and TV star Mark Stacey. Every penny raised at the Manchester Pride Spring Benefit goes directly towards benefiting LGBT causes in Greater Manchester through The Manchester Pride Fund, so the generous donations and pledges will have a lasting and positive impact on the lives of LGBT people in Greater Manchester. The lots included original artwork by Christian J Taylor (Manchester Pride Worker Bee) and a one-of-a-kind set of mayoral pink robes, as worn by the Lord Mayor of Manchester when he took the role of Grand Marshall at the Manchester Pride Parade in 2016. Lord Mayor Cllr Austin-Behan did away with the traditional red robes and instead had a set of fuchsia pink robes made as a statement to the world that Manchester is a city proud of its LGBT heritage. The Lord Mayor modelled these himself and looked amazing as the bids rolled in.
The evening carried on with Liberty X singing some of their hits from the noughties – a sure way to get everyone on their feet dancing. If that wasn’t enough to keep the place rocking, the evening drew to a close with a DJ making it a fundraising night to remember.
Here are more photos from this year's Manchester Pride Spring Benefit: