Monday, 14 May 2012

Fund Raising Masquerade Dinner

What a night.

After weeks of planning and nagging friends, family and colleagues to attend, the fund raising dinner was a massive success.
125 masked guests attended and all were extremely generous on the night. Speeches from myself and Make-A-Wish Scotland manager, Carolyn Thornton, preceded a great dinner at the MacDonald Holyrood Hotel. Many people came up to me talking about the impact the Make-A-Wish video had on them, and how they were moved by the stories they heard.
Willie's after dinner speech
Willie Hunter, 32 years after giving the best man's speech at my father's wedding, gave a very entertaining speech following the dinner and then lead the auction and raffle which raised a lot money for Make-A-Wish. Lots of interest in the auction items, and the they were heavily bid on, raising more than £2,000 combined.

4-ball day at Gleneagles - £500 (Ian Carruthers)
Signed Chris Hoy World Championship Skinsuit - £450 (Atholl Duncan)
Signed & Framed Chelsea Shirt - £300 (Stuart Mack)
Man Utd Tickets - £300 (Scott Kennedy)
Signed Rangers Shirt - £200 (Ashleigh Colquhoun)
Bolton Wanderers Day for 4 - £175 (Jonny Jenkins)
Signed Edinburgh Rugby Shirt and Heineken Cup Ball - £150 (Simon Watson)
Special guest appearance from Justin Bieber. Great to have you there Justin!
I cannot thank everyone enough for everything that went into, and will come out of, the dinner on Friday. Carolyn from Make-A-Wish worked tirelessly with me in planning the dinner and yet took very little of the credit. Without her, and the Foundation, the night would have been not nearly the success it ended up being. Big thanks to Carol and Philip, also from Make-A-Wish, for attending and representing the Foundation.
Carolyn & Philip from Make-A-Wish with Philip's girlfriend, Sarah.
The Clarke family, that have been through the Make-A-Wish process with their daughter Hannah, were the guests of honour and were wonderful. All five family members turned up looking great, kitted out with decorate masks for the Masquerade theme. Hannah brought the photo-book from her visit to Disneyland Paris last December and all that looked through it could tell just how great a trip the family had enjoyed, thanks to Make-A-Wish. It was an honour and a privilege to have them all there, and I know it made a big difference to the night.
Clarke Family
The staff at the MacDonald Holyrood Hotel were first class and put up with my rookie dinner-planning skills. At one point I was asked if I wanted to do a final check of the tables as the guests were arriving. Despite telling them I was confident it was correct, we did a check. I had forgotten 4 people. The staff went to work creating extra spaces and by the time the doors to the hall opened, you would never have guessed there was any late-minute changes. Throughout the night, the staff were friendly, efficient and made everyone feel very welcome.
Lucia, Fiona, Louise and Jenny
I had a conversation with a family member on Thursday and was asked what I hoped to raise from the night. Apart from raising awareness of the amazing work that Make-A-Wish do, I was hoping to raise between £3,000 and £4,000 in total on the night. With some last minute stressing and perhaps an air of pessimism, I reduced that expectation in my own mind to £2,000 to £3,000. In the end, the evening raised over £5,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and could not have been more of a success.
Pete Whitelaw is one lucky man!
Thanks again to everyone that attended, everyone that donated prizes, everyone that bid in the auction, everyone that helped put the night together and everyone that organised tables. The night alone raised enough money to fund a Wish for a local Scottish child, which is an incredible achievement. So thanks.
Laura Houston, Steph Tulloch & Jonny Jenkins and Neil and Carrie McCreath

Now... time to start training for the challenge.
38 days...


  1. From everyone at Make-A-Wish, huge thanks to you and everyone who is helping you to raise such a wonderful amount for our charity. The costumes and masks look fantastic and it's great to read of everyone being so generous. Best of luck with the golfing challenge - we know you get longer days in summer than us "down sowf" but we still don't know how you are going to do it.
    Karen England, Director of Fundraising

  2. Not a solitary second abandoned abandoning me in absolute shock.