A SUMMER ball is to be held in Newport, a day after what would have been Jack Thomas’ 18th birthday, to raise money for our appeal in his memory.

The Oakdale teenager died suddenly in February 2012, aged 15, from an underlying heart condition although the specific cause of death could not be identified.

Earlier this year, the Argus teamed up with his parents, Grant and June Thomas, to start a campaign to get heart defibrillators into every secondary school across Gwent, with our sister paper the Caerphilly Campaign raising funds for the Rhymney Valley.

Now, thanks to the help of Jack’s Appeal supporters and charity Welsh Hearts, a ball will be held at the Hilton Hotel in Langstone to raise money for the campaign.

A date for the evening has been set for Saturday, June 7, a day after what would have been Jack’s 18th birthday.

The King and Queen of Hearts Summer Ball (in memory of Jack’s Appeal) will accommodate around 200 people and will be held at the hotel’s main function room. All proceeds will go towards Jack’s Appeal.

Mrs Thomas said her son would have loved the idea of celebrating a birthday landmark in such a way. She said: “Jack would have been having a big party or out celebrating with his friends. He was a party animal and I remember he used to drag his friends into every house party going!

“Sharon Owen of Welsh Hearts phoned me out of the blue to say the ball could be arranged for June 7 – I couldn’t believe it because that would have been a day after his 18th birthday. It will be a celebration of Jack’s life and will hopefully raise money as well.”

Ms Owen, Welsh Hearts charity director, said the event would be a great way of raising money for the appeal.

Tickets for the event are £45 each, which includes a sparkling drinks reception, a three-course dinner and entertainment. It will be held at the Hilton Newport Hotel on Chepstow Road, Langstone, NP18 2LX. People are being encouraged to arrive at 7pm for a 7.30pm start.

To book tickets contact Welsh Hearts Fundraising Office on 02920 786521 or email fundraising@welshhearts.org.