Wednesday 18 January 2012

Run Geordie Run on the menu!

I'm always on the lookout for good quality fundraising ideas that sit well with the Run Geordie Run brand and today was one of my better ones (well, PR Girl Kathryn Shenton's mainly).

I had a very productive meeting with those kind folk, Jim and Gavin (pictured below), at Firenze Italian Restaurant in Jesmond this afternoon. Also present was The Children's Foundation's fundraising manager, Libby Nolan (pictured below) and my PR and design partners in crime, Kathryn and Dave Shenton.

I wish all meetings could be as fun as this one was as the main item on the agenda was the design and creation of a special "Run Geordie Run" main course. The pasta dish will go permanently on Firenze's main menu with part of the sale price donated to The Children's Foundation! Brilliant!

Half way through the meeting our discussion took a turn for the better when Jim and Gavin suggested that I should also think of a starter and a pudding to accompany the main course. This took me by complete surprise and while I'd given the main course lots of thought over the last week I didn't really know what to suggest for the other courses. 

The main course, which will be revealed all in good time, is a very healthy representation of the Italian flavours and ingredients that I enjoy. It's not one I've ever seen on a menu before and I think it will prove very popular. The starter will also be healthy and I have a few ideas on that which I'll be telling the lads at Firenze about when we next meet. The pudding, however, will be not so healthy! I make no apologies for that! 

While I have many good ideas about the 3 courses, it's great to have the expert help and guidance of Gavin and Jim from Firenze. They recognise that it is important that I have input into the design of the dishes and that they are something that I will not only enjoy eating but will also help with the nutritional side of my preparation for the run across Australia. Well the first 2 courses will at least. The pudding course is there purely for indulgence purposes!

I've heard lots of good things about Firenze from many different sources, so the signs are that we are all in for a treat once the creation and fine tuning of these dishes is complete. The menu should be "live" in March. Watch this space for further updates. In the meantime, on behalf of The Children's Foundation, it is a real pleasure to have Firenze Restaurant on board. Here's to the successful sale of Run Geordie Run dishes at my favourite Italian Restaurant in Jesmond.

Please click here to visit the Firenze website.

Saturday 7 January 2012

The final total for USA 2011

It is with immense pleasure, pride and gratitude that I'm able to announce that the final fundraising total for St Benedict's Hospice (Charity No. 1019410) and The Children's Foundation (Charity No 1000013) is an incredible £105,233.00! Thanks, once again, to everyone who made a contribution to that total. There are literally thousands of you who have donated. I'll never grow tired of saying that every single donation was appreciated. No matter how large or small, they have all made a huge difference to the 2 charities.  

The amount of individual donations of £10 and under has gone to make up a considerable portion of the £105,233.00. This is why people giving whatever they can afford, was so important to the 2 charities. This is why I valued those donations just as much as the huge donations. 

As regular readers of this blog will know, the 3100 mile run across the USA in 100 days was an amazing journey. It was a difficult journey but one that was very much worth it. The next challenge, of course, is to run across Australia in just 70 days. The fundraising target for that run is £50,000. It's going to take a superhuman effort and lots of generousity to raise that kind of money again. I really do think that running 41 miles per day from Perth to Sydney will capture people's imagination. Via this blog and through increased media coverage, I will be trying my best to take people along the journey; both in training and the actual run itself. If it's half as exciting as the run across the USA then we are all in for a treat.

I look forward to getting back to updating the blog regularly in the new year. There is so much going on behind the scenes. I've got numerous motivational talks coming up. I now sit on the Regional Small Grants Panel at The Children's Foundation. I'm working on a couple of initiatives with the media and local charities. In a nutshell, life before the run across the USA is no longer recognisable from the one I have now. I have no complaints whatsoever. 

Finally, to all the readers of this blog, I wish you all the best for 2012. My hopes for the new year are that with continued courage, integrity and faith giant steps towards the next victory will be achieved.

Happy New Year!