ASHBOURNE hero, Private Emma Soult, was given a standing ovation when she was invited to draw the winners of the raffle at the annual Shrovetide disco.
The annual fund-raising event raised £1290 which was split between Ashbourne Stroke Club and the Ashbourne Over 60s Group.
The annual disco has been run for 26 years and in that time more than £20,000 has been raised for charities and organisations in the Ashbourne area.
More than 200 people turned out in support of the disco, which was held at the Empire Ballroom on Saturday night.
One of the organisers behind the event, Michael Pepper, told the News Telegraph: “This year the fund raising was for two local organisations the Ashbourne Over 60’s and the Ashbourne and District Stroke Support Club, and thanks to the generosity of the people attending and also the local businesses who very kindly donated superb prizes the event was able to raise £1290.
The entertainment came from Sparkies Disco and live music was provided by Breaking Point.
“On Sunday, the committee presented cheques to the respective organisations and Margaret Ford and Wlifred Dawson of the organisations said a very big thank you to the committee and how much the money raised would help the two clubs.
“The Committee would like to say a very big thank you to the local companies who gave prizes for the event.
“The draw was made by Emma Soult who had returned from her recent tour of Afghanistan.
“Tony Millward and the audience gave Emma a brilliant welcome.”
Each club received a cheque for £645 at a presentation ceremony held at Ashbourne Ex-Servicemen’s Club on Sunday.
Pt Soult returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan on Saturday, having deferred leave late last year in hopes of managing to return home for Shrovetide.
An avid follower of the game, Pt Soult is on leave for two weeks before she will once again return to Helmand Province.
At Christmas, Pt Soult was featured in the News Telegraph after sitting next to Prime Minister, David Cameron, for a festive dinner while the county’s leader was out visiting troops in the war zone.
She said: ““It was overwhelming just to come back.
“They gave me a massive round of applause and that was even more overwhelming.
“I’ve had so much support.
“It was my first night back. We landed at about 12.30pm, I drove back, went straight to Dorothy Perkins to buy a new outfit and then I went out.
“I was worried about tripping over the wires on stage and my eyes filled up a bit at the welcome.
“It was just great and now I can’t wait for Shrovetide.”