Museums Sheffield’s annual fundraising gala dinner, inspired by Leonardo da Vinci and held at the Millennium Gallery, raised £51,000.

Hosted by BBC Radio Sheffield’s Paulette Edwards the glittering evening included a welcome by Museums Sheffield CEO Kim Streets who introduced a new film about Museums Sheffield called Place for People, a four course Italian inspired meal from Ambulo and featured keynote speaker Prof Tim Birkhead from the University of Sheffield. This was followed by a live auction, raffle of exclusive prizes and memorable experiences.

The evening was generously supported by international law firm, CMS, the Sheffield Property Association, Vine Hotels and Together Money.

Kim Streets, Museums Sheffield’s Chief Executive said: “It was wonderful to see Sheffield’s business and artistic communities come together to support the work of Museums Sheffield. As a charity we need to raise £1m every year in addition to the funding that we receive to keep the museums free for everyone to enjoy and to stage great exhibitions like Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing. Our annual fundraising dinner plays a critical role in that and we’re hugely grateful to our guests on the night, and to everyone who donated auction and raffle prizes, for their incredible generosity.”

Alexis Krachai, one of the founding Directors of the Sheffield Property Association and Managing Director of Counter Context said: “Museums Sheffield Gala Dinner was another important reminder of what makes many of us so proud of the city we call home.

“We were able to come together to raise funds for one of our city’s most important cultural assets. It is incredibly important that we do not take our museums and other cultural institutions for granted as the work they do opens up culture and the arts for all communities across the city. Culture is also one of our biggest selling points and what Museums Sheffield does for Sheffield resonates around the world.”

The auction had some fabulous lots including a magnificent pair of Brett Payne hot-forged sterling silver ‘XY Candlesticks’ donated by Goldsmiths North, a one-week stay in a stunning 5 bedroomed country house in the Dordogne, 20 limited edition platters by Victoria Claire Dawes, an opportunity to learn painting and drawing from Sheffield artist Joe Scarborough, an 8 course meal served in your home by chef Chirs Hanson from Blend Kitchen, a limited edition artist’s proof from Dan Holdsworth’s Blackout 09, 2010) series – plus some unique experiences including lunch and gallery tour for 2 people with the renowned BBC broadcaster and art dealer Philip Mould OBE and Sheffield-born artist Lorna May Wadsworth, and a hosted tour of the Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing exhibition when it goes to the Queen’s Gallery in Buckingham Palace (24 May – 13 October) by expert Martin Clayton, Head of Prints and Drawings.

The evening also included another opportunity to see the hugely successful Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing exhibition, which has drawn record numbers of more than 56,000 visitors so far.