Race day fundraiser romps home in first place

The annual Ascot Afternoon fundraising event for national respite centre Leuchie House has had its most successful result in its five year history.

Leuchie’s racing-themed fundraiser on Thursday 22 June brought in £35,200 before costs, up from £14,000 in 2016.

Hosted by actress and comedian Elaine C Smith, almost two hundred people donned their finery to attend the East Lothian charity’s event which featured live streaming of three of the day’s races from Ascot.

Leuchie’s Fundraising Manager, Lana Bambridge says their celebrity host helped take the event to a new level: “We wanted to give our Ascot Afternoon a fresh new feel this year to offer our regular supporters some different elements to enjoy and to help attract an even wider audience.  As well as changing the format, when we heard Elaine had agreed to host, we knew we could offer our most special Ascot event yet!

“Not only did she have the audience roaring with laughter, she left no stone unturned in making sure everyone there had a great time and gave as much support as possible to Leuchie.  She gave a wonderful singing performance for a special donation. She read from her Glaswegian version of The Gruffalo and donated sales of the book to Leuchie. She even did selfies for donations to Leuchie!

“The amount of local and national support we have had for the event has been incredible.  From our main event sponsor Prestonfield House, to a host of other businesses large and small, we have had invaluable support including a stunning range of auction prizes. We even had a beautiful ladies headpiece donated by Rachel Trevor-Morgan, milliner to the Queen! We’d like to say an enormous thank you to everyone who attended, who sponsored the event, who donated prizes and who gave their time to help out on the day. The amount raised is way beyond what we could have hoped for and will make a huge difference in helping us to continue providing vital respite breaks for people with long term conditions.”

The event, held in a marquee in the grounds of Leuchie House, began with a drinks reception sponsored by NB Gin who created a special Cross The Line cocktail for the occasion. Following lunch, guests enjoyed three of the day’s races live from Ascot, then the chance to bid on an exclusive range of items in the live and silent auctions, before live music by the Blue Thursdays brought the event to a close.

Leuchie House needs to generate almost £900,000 every year from fundraising activities. The Ascot Afternoon is one of the charity’s biggest annual fundraising events and all proceeds from the day will go to support Leuchie’s essential respite break service.