Each year, as a way of thanking our dedicated supporters for all their hard work, we organise two awards parties and this year two of our runners very kindly hosted the events. It makes the evenings particularly special when receiving the awards from a TV personality and hopefully encourages people to continue to be part of our teams and fundraise for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.
Running & Triathlons
Tony Audenshaw hosted The Running & Triathlon Awards Party at Chelsea Football Club. He delivered the awards in his own inimitable style inviting all of the recipients to say a few words as to what the charity’s work means to them. There were 12 awards in total, each split into categories for the various runs and triathlons that the Banana Army are involved with.
The party gives us the opportunity to acknowledge and thank the top fundraisers who have raised amazing sums throughout the year and it also provides us with a chance to hear their personal reasons behind running for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research and hand out some well-deserved awards to some truly inspirational fundraisers. Many had taken part in large events like the London Marathon, Great North Run or The London Triathlon.
Highlights of the evening included our London Marathon winner Victoria Johnson who lost her boyfriend at the age of 16. She gave an emotional acceptance speech and was overwhelmed with the support of the charity and its sponsors. The evening also saw three guys who formed a fundraising team called ‘The Mad Hatters’ win the ‘Outstanding Achievement’ award. They originally had the intention of completing several marathons to honour their dear friend who succumbed to leukaemia: 30 marathons, 10 triathlons, three 1000-mile cycle tours, and a huge three-day 85-mile group run across Hadrian's Wall later, they’re determined to continue. This typifies many of those who go to these extreme lengths and the Awards Party is the perfect opportunity for us to recognise this.
John Michie was the celebrity host for The Bikeathon Awards Party and with it being Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research’s 50th anniversary this year he certainly helped make it extra special for the guests. All top fundraisers from the London Bikeathon, and those who took on their own cycling challenge, were invited along to receive their hard earned awards. The event was held in the Centre point building on the 31st floor overlooking the capital, and to add to the mood, a live Jazz band played throughout the night!
In total, John presented a staggering 25 awards! These ranged from large team winners of the London Bikeathon raising over £10,000, individual fundraisers raising an incredible £4,000, and special volunteers and individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the London Bikeathon this year. Overall the London Bikeathon raised an incredible £630,000, with an additional £260,000 raised from supporters who have organised their own cycling challenge. Outstanding!
Highlights of the evening included the opportunity to present an award to the team who took part in celebration of Stephanie, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2009. Stephanie finished her treatment in May 2010, and the team felt the London Bikeathon was the perfect occasion to celebrate. Together, Team Sarikhani raised over £7500! Another emotional and motivating award was handed to Dean Chilton and his three friends who took on their own cycling challenge decided to do the L’Etape du Tour – the hardest stage of the Tour de France! Dean’s daughter was diagnosed with ALL at just 18 months old, but is now a healthy six-year-old. Between them, they’ve raised over £36,000.
Overall it was a fantastic and memorable evening shared by everyone and it was a great opportunity to acknowledge so many of our top supporters who enable us to continue the vital research.