Last week, the charity fund for St Benedict's Hospice and The Children's Foundation burst through the £24,000 barrier. I thought it would be at least another month before the next milestone would be reached. Oh how wrong I was!
On Friday night I attended my Aunty Joyce's 75th birthday party. Aunty Joyce (pictured left during my run from John O'Groat's to Lands End in 2007) is not my real Aunty but I've known her since I was a toddler and she has always been there for me ever since.
Such is Aunty Joyce's nature, instead of asking for presents, she called for the party guests to make a contribution to 3 charities. The first was a Cerebal Palsy charity and the other 2 were the ones I'm raising funds for; St Benedict's Hospice and The Children's Foundation.
It was a great night and a chance, not only to celebrate, but to catch up with some very special people.
Aunty Joyce rang me the following day with the news of how much money was raised. I was 5 miles into a 32 mile run from Alston to Shotley Bridge at the time. On the highest point on the C2C route at 1961ft to be precise.
I was absolutely staggered to hear that £1000 had been raised on the night through donations and a raffle with some top prizes! In that raffle was the very last Run Geordie Run t-shirt and some Run Geordie Run CDs. The winners asked me to sign the items, which I did with a very red face!
£500 of that £1000 is winging it's way to the 2 charities that I raise funds for and the rest to the Cerebal Palsy charity. The £500 will be donated to the 2 charities under my "miles in memory" scheme. Those particular miles will be dedicated to Aunty Joyce's late husband and my Uncle John.
As a result of Aunty Joyce's party, the charity fund now stands at an amazing £25,305.34. Just over 50% of the fundraising target has now been reached. Of that amount, only £2563 is "traditional sponsorship" i.e. to be paid upon successful completion of the run. The rest has already been given to the 2 charities.
£76,689.34 has now been raised since I started running for charity in 1994. It goes without saying that I'll be working extremely hard, as I always have, to warrant this kind of support. Meanwhile, thanks to Aunty Joyce and her family and friends for helping to get the charity fund over £25,000.