What an amazing time we have had over the past week celebrating reaching our 50k target!!
Not only did we hit our 50k target but we also surpassed all hopes by our current total being nearer to £52,000!
So after a chaotic week for many in the team which comprised of work committments as well as planning for Saturdays celebration night the day finally arrived. After waiting for months, if not years,for the greatly anticipated day to arrive, once it came round we found ourselves wanting more time to organise even more for the night. However, despite this the whole team were extremely excited, though some a little nervous about their impending speeches!!
During the daytime on Saturday a small group of the fundraising team went up to Winterton Rangers to set up for the event, putting up an exhibition, bowing up helium balloons and most importantly setting up the cake table! After many hours of setting up and running through final checks on speeches and powerpoints it was time to go home for a quick turn aroud to get ready for the long-anticipated event!
We arrived back at Rangers at 5:45 to arrange the buffet kindly provided by The Butchers Arms Winterton, which looked and tasted fabulous I must say! Soon after this had been done guests started to arrive at the event with some of the first being Chris and Emma, both from Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research. It was lovely chatting to them and to many of the other guests before the event started at 7:30. Not only were people talking about the work we have done, sharing their most memorable events and moments from them but also sharing personal experinces. We also had many photographs taken with an extremely large cheque displaying our £50,000 total.
So the speeches began with Rob speaking about James and the initial reason for starting fundraising. We then went on to different speeches from other members of the group before it came to my favourite part of the evening the suprise awards. Myself and Daniel had come up with four individuals from the group who we felt deserved a Diana Award for their dedication to the charity. We also gave out awards to unsuspecting members of the community who were comlpetely oblivious to the fact that they would be recieving an award including the local secondary school where the majority of our fundraising team attended and where our journey began. Next, there was an award for the local pub, The Butchers Arms, who have been incredibly supportive over the last four years raising over £6500 for the branch. Finally there was an award for Don Johnson, a local teacher and Lion who has been overwhelmingly supportive of us all ver the past four years. For all who know Don, you will realise how suprised he was when I tell you that he was completely speechless!!
Next, Chris the Director of Research for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research took to the stage to talk about the kind of projects our money is helping towards funding. I must say it was absolutely incredible to be able to understand just how much this money can do. It was inspiring listening to his hope and positivity of curing blood cancers and I am it gave us all added determination to reach the 100k targe as soon as possible.
After this, Luke West performed his song 'Man in Red' which never fails to bring a tear to my eye. It is a beautiful song about the work our group has done as well as perfectly explaining our feeling towards James' bravery.
Last Saturday night has to be my favourite event as everyone who has continually supported us over the past four years was there! It just proved what an incredibly strong and determined community we have surrounding us helping us achieve our gols every step of the way!!
Now to the tour of the research labs at Sheffield Hallamshire Hospital yesterday where over 20 members of our team went to see just where the money we raise goes and how it is helping fund ore inspiring projects to help beat blood cancers. We saw demonstrations of machinery used to test cells and different posible treatments as well as taking part in question and answer sessions about everything we saw on the visit.
At the end of the tour myslef and Daniel were talking to Dr Chantry, who leads the research into Myeloma a Sheffield Hospital, and it was fascinating hearing how positive he was about finding a cure for blood cancers. He was also extremely interested in what we had done to raise the money we have and offering to help whenever we needed it.
It was absolutely astounding to see the work we are helping to fund and I certainly think it motivated many of the group to raise as much money as possible as the research being done really is life-changing.