Wentworth golf club was quite literally heaving last night as this years’ BMW PGA Golf Championship was launched in style with a charity dinner and concert in aid of the Prostate Project and the European Tour Foundation.

Organised by Small Faces drummer Kenny Jones, who was treated for prostate cancer at Royal Surrey County Hospital, Guildford by Professor Stephen Langley , a trustee of the Prostate Project – the line-up for “An Evening with Kenny Jones & Friends” included Sir Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood two of the UK’s most iconic music legends. They all got together to re-form “The Small Faces’ for a one night only concert. Supported by Cregan & Co featuring Ben Mills they performed a trip down memory Lane that had the 500 guests on their feet singing along to some great 60’s/70’s favourites Halfway through the gig, Sir Rod announced that 2 years ago he was diagnosed with prostate cancer but had fortunately caught it early and been given the all clear. It was a poignant moment that gave the evening a special resonance as Sir Rod implored men to go to their doctor.

Prostate Project President Tim Sharp said “Experience has shown what a big difference high profile celebrities can make when they ‘come out’ about their cancer – Stephen Fry and Bill Turnbull revealing their battles with prostate cancer are a good case in point. We have no doubt that Sir Rod’s decision to announce his fight with the disease will be equally effective. We are hugely grateful to him and his wife Penny for using our fundraiser to make his announcement that will benefit so many men.”

The evening, which included a spectacular auction raised a six figure sum for the Prostate Project. The money will be used to fund the charity’s new ‘WAGING WAR ON PROSTATE CANCER’ Appeal which will be campaigning on three fronts:

– AWARENESS & DIAGNOSIS OFFENSIVE: Fighting apathy, ignorance and embarrassment with PSA testing days and GP tutorial seminars.
–  EARLY STAGE CANCER OFFENSIVE: Fundraising for the Stokes Centre for Urology to ensure it attracts high calibre clinicians, nurse specialists and technicians, and has the most advanced equipment.
– ADVANCED STAGE CANCER OFFENSIVE: Fundraising for our University of Surrey cancer research team to develop new blood marker diagnostics and immunotherapy/viral therapy drug regimes.

The Prostate Project is a registered charity largely run by volunteers. We keep administration costs below 5% resulting in at least 95 pence of every pound donated going to the point of need. During the last 20 years we have raised more than £8 million giving men a better chance of beating prostate cancer. Most recently we jointly funded a world-class £6m Urology Centre at Royal Surrey County Hospital, Guildford.

Prostate cancer is the No 1 male cancer killer in the UK. Over 47,000 men are diagnosed with it every year. It kills one man every 45 minutes – that’s more than 11,000 men every year. In its early stages prostate cancer is often symptomless.

That’s why it is so important to catch it early. At Royal Surrey County Hospital 90% who have their prostate cancer diagnosed early are cured. It is vital that men aged between 50 and 70 are aware of the problem and consult their GP routinely for a PSA test. The PSA test is currently the only way of finding out whether men may have early prostate cancer.