IT WAS a night for guests to let their hair down but for Cathy Booth, the third-annual Umoja Orphanage Gala Dinner meant so much more than that.

It meant the building of the first orphans and vulnerable children's home in Kenya is a step closer to getting under way after raising $10,000 at the dinner on Saturday night.

Project founder Mrs Booth said the night, themed Spirit of Africa, was a huge success, with more than 130 guests attending.

"It was a celebration - we've been working on the project for the past three years," she said.

"We seem to be getting better each year."

Mrs Booth said one of the volunteers from Gladstone, a 22-year-old, put together a video presentation featuring the team in action over in Kenya.

"It gave the audience a really good look into the work we actually do over there to help the locals," she said.

Mrs Booth said the money raised on the night would go directly to the building of the first children's home, hoped to begin in the next couple of months.

"We've got our stamp approval from the Kenyan Government," she said.

Mrs Booth said the next lot of volunteers would head overseas in September.

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