HUNDREDS of people paid tribute to Red Arrows pilot Jon Egging at a poignant Air Festival fundraiser in his memory.

The Red Ball, which took place on Friday night was the inaugural event for the Jon Egging Trust, set up following the death of the pilot, whose Hawk jet crashed near Throop following a display at last year’s festival.

Held at the BIC, more than 600 people attended the event, hosted by Carol Vorderman with special guests including the Red Arrows and Jon’s wife, Dr Emma Egging, who gave a speech outlining what the trust was trying to achieve.

The Jon Egging Trust was set-up by Emma as well as Jon’s mother Dawn Egging, childhood friend James Godley and Red Arrows pilot Ben Plank to develop opportunities for young people underachieving in the formal education system.

Attendees to the ball enjoyed a three-course meal from BH Live Hospitality before being entertained by Spellbound gymnastics troupe, who won Britain’s Got Talent in 2010.

Highlights of the evening also included a fundraising auction offering once-in-a-lifetime experiences such as an opportunity to fly with the Blades aerobatic display team, be trained by the Breitling Wingwalkers for a private display as well as a Battle of Britain experience day.

But the Red Arrows prizes, including a print signed by the 2011 team including Jon Egging and Sean Cunningham, were fittingly the most highly sought of the evening.

The behind-the-scenes experience day at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire raised thousands of pounds for the Trust.

Those at the Daily Echo table were wearing specially designed newspaper imprinted bow ties and dresses designed by Ringwood designer Frances Farmer and her team at Calm Amongst the Chaos.