Watch Shoreham managing director don heels for Lady Marmalade cabaret performance, raising £22,000

Steve Cropper performing Lady Marmalade with talented Shoreham singer Alex Banks
Steve Cropper performing Lady Marmalade with talented Shoreham singer Alex Banks

A Shoreham firm’s managing director has raised £22,000 for charity after donning heels and performing Lady Marmalade in drag at Le Cabaret de Paris.

Gemini Print is known for its wide-ranging charity support but usually it happens behind the scenes, through practical printing for fundraising and promotions in Sussex, Bristol and London.

The Starr Trust champions and team

The Starr Trust champions and team

It was The Starr Trust that persuaded managing director Steve Cropper to come out of the background and perform at the DM Thomas Foundation for Young People’s Moulin Rouge style Midsummer Ball at Hilton Brighton Metropole.

So impressive was his Lady Marmalade performance with talented Shoreham singer Alex Banks, he won first place and the trophy is now in pride of place at the office in Dolphin Way.

But the primary objective was fundraising, with all the performers battling online to collect donations, and so far, Steve has raised £22,000 for The Starr Trust.

He said: “The generous support of local people, suppliers, colleagues and clients is hugely appreciated. It was heartwarming to see how fantastic people were in supporting us, recognising what great work these charities do.

Steve Cropper and Alex Banks at rehearsals

Steve Cropper and Alex Banks at rehearsals

“We hope the photo evidence of us prancing in heels gives people enough of a laugh to add their support by donating.”

Steve said he would never usually dance or sing, he would rather be on a rugby pitch or enjoying a pint of Guinness in the bar afterwards.

He agreed to do a cabaret act in front of 600 guests at the annual fundraising dinner to help provide vital support for disadvantaged, sick or disable youngsters across Sussex.

Four charities were represented, Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice, Chailey Heritage Foundation, Action Medical Research and The Starr Trust. Each entered volunteer performers to compete for the annual trophy.

Gemini Print is an active supporter of all four charities but it was The Starr Trust that cajoled Steve into performing and fundraising on its behalf.

This small, family-run charity is based in Hove and champions young people in the BN postcode area.

The theme was Le Cabaret de Paris and Steve asked Alex, who travels the UK performing his Frank Sinatra show for help with learning the lyrics of Lady Marmalade, planning costumes and practising dancing in heels.

Visit le-cabaret-de-paris.everydayhero.com/uk/alex-steve-for-the-starr-trust to make a donation.