Ed J
Posted by

All over?

Ed J
Posted by
01 Jul 2015

I just don't know what to do with myself

Well, loyal fans. It's been over a month since the #STRENGTH 2015 MK Leukaemia Concert came and went. The three bands - The Enigmas, Road/Worn and Breathless - all played their hearts out to entertain and reward all the supporters and fundraisers and we finished off with a total of £4700 for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research (soon to be re-named Bloodwise. Rachel Romaine sold her delicious cakes, Sainsbury's, MK Holistic Therapy and T's Barbers provided some great raffle and auction prizes, and Jon Whiles of Jon Whiles Photography helped me create a brilliant concert programme of which I am extremely proud. Once again, the concert T shirts by Monographics' Leslie Nemes (ex Haircut 100 bassman) and Garment Printing were a huge success, and everything passed off in a lovely atmosphere.
The figure of £30,000 has loomed large all year, and now as I sit back having raised £31,200 since my CML diagnosis in 2006 I don't know what to do. The event is getting bigger and bigger, but organising it now has become such a time-consumer. Everyone is really great and keen to help but can I really sell people a third T shirt in 3 years? Bands are growing apart or moving away or changing jobs - am I going to be able to keep serving up an evening's worth of entertainment that lives up to past glories? How often can articles appear in the local press that bear basically the same message - "Ed is wanting your money again."
In my defence, as I have felt forced to point out to people (not many, but some) - at least with the concerts they are getting something back for their money. Be it a 32 page book, or a quality T shirt, or a night's great entertainment - the punters are left with something that is theirs at the end of the night. It is not as if I am just asking for a donation to a good cause, I am selling them something tangible or thanking them for their generosity by putting on what I regard as a great night out.
But this year, in the run up to the concert, I found myself looking forward more and more to Sunday morning rather than the Saturday night. I had had such a horrible year health wise that the concert organising had left me absolutely exhausted. To feel unable or unwilling to delegate too much, and then feel swamped and pulled every which way had me, at times, quite disillusioned. Friendships became strained, some nearly to breaking point, as some folk found some things that I did or said hard to understand. But the £30,000 spurred me on, as did the enthusiasm of the concert regulars and, ultimately, the night was very successful.

Then, about a fortnight after the concert, my great friend and inspiration in the MK LLR scene Hazel Staten passed away after her leukaemia returned after 10 years. Suddenly £30,000 doesn't seem enough does it? But what happens next? We'll have to find out together.

Comments

Anonymous
01.07.2015

Great post Ed. Inspiring and honest about the trials and tribulations of fundraising.

02.07.2015

A really lovely post, Ed.

We really appreciate all that you have done for LLR, you really are an incredible fundraiser. £30,000+ is a fantastic amount to raise and has done so much, and continues to do so much, to help beat blood cancer - there's no doubt about that!

If you ever need any help or support, you know where we are.

Thank you for all the fundraising! 

Anonymous
14.07.2015

your efforts are unbelievable Ed. best wishes bob.