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Fundraising dinner honours the RAF's role in D-Day

D-Day Fundraising DinnerOver 250 guests joined WWII veterans at the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund fundraising dinner marking the 70th anniversary of D-Day and honoured the airmen who served in the momentous invasion.

More than £30,000 was raised on the night through auctions and other fundraising activities to support the RAF Benevolent Fund's welfare efforts.  

RAF Benevolent Fund Controller, Air Marshal Chris Nickols, said: "Air power was key to the success of D-Day. The strategic air offensive against Germany had shifted the battle to the skies above the Third Reich. 

"When the Allied Normandy beach landings took place there was, initially, very little the Luftwaffe could do in response. The success of the D-Day landings opened the way for the liberation of Western Europe and within a year the war in Europe was over.  Tonight, 70 years on, we remember the brave sacrifices of all involved in D-Day."

The RAF Benevolent Fund is the leading RAF welfare charity and last year spent more than £18 million to help over 60,000 members of the RAF family.  

Controller Chris Nickols said: "The RAF Benevolent Fund is here for D-Day veterans like Lee Wrake, who joined the RAF at the age of 19. On 6 June 1944 he landed on Omaha Beach and was responsible for transporting trucks onto the beach. After saving a man who was hit in the stomach, Lee was hit in the chest by shrapnel.

"Now aged 94, Lee recently turned to the RAF Benevolent Fund after he found simple tasks, like bathing, more and more difficult. We have been able to provide adaptions, such as a wetroom and special furniture to make home life a little easier.  Lee was lucky, he survived D-Day, and we are delighted to have been able to help him lead a dignified and independent retirement."

The dinner was held at 8 Northumberland in central London, the former home of the Ministry of Defence. 

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