On the 6th January 2018 a year to the date that Demi tragically lost her life the event to shape all future charity balls was put together by Demi’s mother Novlet Nicholson and her two aunts Valerie George and Wendy Nicholson. On this night Dream Enormous Make an Impact was born.
Held at the Aston Villa football ground in the luxurious Holte Suite on arrival guests were greeted by hosts Novlet, Wendy and Stefan (Demi’s brother) and given free drinks in the reception area whilst being entertained by Drummers creating an atmosphere that captivated you on entry and gave you a sense of festivity in another world far away from a cold winters night in January.
As the crowd gathered and networked with each other forming new friendships and re-connecting with old ones the announcement was made for all guests to enter the main room for the evening to commence.
Decorated in gold, black and ivory balloons the room seating over 300 people was big enough to give everyone their space yet small enough to remain an intimate affair.
Projected across screens surrounding the room was the D.E.M.I trust logo. As guests got comfortable in their seats with no indication lights were dimmed, the room fell silent with the first intimation that something spectacular was about to begin. Spread across the screen a presentation started and actor Duane Henry who plays Clayton Reeves in the famous NCIS American police drama appeared on the big screen with a video footage stating how this is a charity that is close to his heart and urging others to support it.
The presentation went on to show others shouting out the Dream Enormous Make an Impact slogan that has become an expression validating the determination and reality of what looks to become a major force in the lives of young people wanting to pursue their ambitions of going to university.
It was hard for guests not to be gripped by the video of Novlet on the day of what should have been Demi’s graduation going up on the stage at Liverpool Hope University to collect the Post Humous degree Demi had worked so hard for and as the video silently showed clips of Demi’s life before the tragedy and gave the audience some powerful statistics on poverty and the link with education Letisha harmoniously sang ‘Somewhere over the rainbow’.
It was inevitable that as Novlet approached the stage to do her opening speech she was greeted by a round of applause from the audience for her strength, courage and sheer inspiration for what has been the most difficult time in her life. In her speech she stated
“Today marks a year since the passing of a beautiful soul, but it also marks the launching of everything she stood for to live on.
DEMI Dream Enormous Make an Impact aims to motivate students from low income families to develop themselves, maximise their potentials and strive to be their best.
It’s unfortunate that Demi wasn’t able to fulfil her dreams and ambitions but if we can help others to reach their goals then her life won’t have been in vein. We cannot allow that light that shone so brightly to be ousted.
We want for the drive and determination that excelled in Demi to live on in other young people.”
Again the crowd impressed with her graciousness in what can only be described as a life changing event applauded her as she invited one of Demi’s best friends Ella on to the stage to talk about her relationship with Demi and read out a letter sent from Hope University. A touching tribute to an amazing young lady and a fantastic cause that will have a positive impact on communities near and far.
The first key speaker a young, gentlemen who as well as knowing Demi personally also has a major influence and is seen as a key player in the educational establishments across the UK was brought up to the stage and did an experiment that impacted the whole room.
He asked everyone who knew Demi to stand up in the room, said thank you and then asked them to take a seat. He then asked everyone who had no relationship with Demi to stand and as people stood up there were gasps as everyone was blown away that there were more people in the audience that had no relationship with Demi than those who had.
Not planned or choreographed the effect that had on the night was immense and showed how much our community can come together when it means saving the futures of our young people.
The mood in the room was intense, emotional and yet so inspiring but the crowd were now in for an unexpected treat of home grown entertainment starting with the compare for the night Wendy who graced the stage dancing to Stefflon Don ‘Hurtin Me’. With her positive infectious humour the crowd were now ready to celebrate, eat a 3 course meal from Aston Villa’s award winning catering of a starter, spiced parsnip soup followed by a chicken main and a mouth watering lemon cheesecake.
With no complaints and completely satisfied, guests finished their meals to be yet again entertained a raffle which included amazing prizes such as £250 Pretty Little Thing vouchers, Champagne dinner for two at Rosso’s, 32inch smart TV, Manchester United signed football, Liverpool signed shirt and many more.
Local artists. Tarik Ross-Cameron gave a spoken word poem, Ashley Reed accompanied by her acoustic guitar sang one of her own songs, Birmingham’s home grown up and coming lady hip-hop artist Mya-Remi got the crowd going with two of her own tracks. The entertainment ended with a poem by Jade Richards who received a standing ovation on her completion of a piece specially written for the D.E.M.I Trust.
Dr Rev Desmond Jadoo the key speaker ended the live entertainment by expressing how important it was for everyone to get behind the charity before Novlet showed her gratitude by awarding all those who had contributed to the event with gifts and Wendy instructing the charities resident DJ David Deadly to open up the dancefloor with the all time favourite ‘Candy’.
Nobody could have predicted the success of the night with everyone dancing straight through to 1am in the morning and even when the lights were turned on and the night ended the crowd refused to leave until the Demi anthem was played.
The night was an immense success with guests enquiring about future events as well as how they can get involved and contribute to such a worthy cause. Donations came from near and far and the beginning of Dream Enormous Make an Impact was officially born.
Many events will be happening throughout the year and the ball will be annual so to avoid any disappointment keep your eye out as tickets will be limited and on a first come first serve basis.
So the start of what will be one of the fastest growing charities that empowers young people to Dream Enormous Make an Impact on the world is a growing phenomenon that not only has made the impact it has intended but has also hit headlines and promises to go where politicians have neglected, into the financial aid of our growing talent that gets ignored by a status which if not eradicated will determine the rest of their lives – poverty.