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Eddie the Eagle soars at annual charity dinner: Portsmouth Property Association

May 3, 2023

Michael ‘Eddie the Eagle’ Edwards was guest speaker at the 101st annual charity dinner held at Portsmouth Guildhall by Portsmouth Property Association (PPA). A total of £6,600 was raised on the night, with donations from auctioned lots and raffle prizes going to four charities adopted by PPA chairman Iain Morrison.

Formed in 1920, the Portsmouth Property Association  brings together estate agents, surveyors, lawyers, brokers, architects and other professional advisers into a collective voice to drive the economic prosperity of the Portsmouth region. The black-tie dinner, at the city’s Royal Maritime Club, took place after a two-year interval due to the pandemic.

Next time you fly off a 90-metre ski ramp at speeds of up to 60mph check first that you have the latest equipment such as a state-of-the-art crash helmet and aerodynamic ski suit.  Preferably not flimsy headwear with a piece of string fashioned as a chin strap, with thick glasses steaming up under the ski goggles, and a winter jacket better suited to nipping out to the shops than absorbing the impact of a fall on packed snow from the height of a tower block.  Derring-do training exploits by Michael ‘Eddie the Eagle’ Edwards, in the run-up to his famous appearances in the 1988 Olympics in Calgary, Canada, brought the house down at Portsmouth Property Association’s 101st annual charity dinner.

The first British ski jumper since before World War Two, famously finishing last in both the 90m and 70m events and inspiring a hit movie, pacy regaling of his underdog stories at the Olympics boosted charities in the Portsmouth region.

“If you have a dream, go for it,” guest speaker Michael told scores of cheering guests at the black-tie event at the city’s Royal Maritime Club. “Don’t let anything stop you, he continued.”

Such was his commitment to the sport, which saw him break the British record with a 71m jump at Calagary, Michael holed up in a psychiatric hospital because he had no money for accommodation – or for a decent ski helmet.

“With the string breaking mid-flight, my helmet started to fall off,  The Austrian ski jumping team took pity on me and gave me one of theirs.” recalled Michael.

A total of £6,600 was raised on the night, with donations from auctioned lots and raffle prizes going to four charities adopted by PPA chairman Iain Morrison.

They are Portsmouth Foodbank, youth charity Motiv8, Portsmouth Counselling Service Children and Young People and Home-Start Portsmouth, a voluntary organisation committed to promoting the welfare of families with at least one child under five years of age.  As is customary with the PPA, a donation was made from funds to the Lord Mayor’s charities Aurora New Dawn, Honor Waite Charity and Portsmouth Hospitals Charity.

Iain, PPA Chairman added:

“The annual charity dinner is one of the highlights of the PPA calendar – it was lovely to see new and familiar faces following the event’s three-year break due to the pandemic. Our guest speaker embodied resilience – a quality shown by PPA members during difficult times for the UK.”

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