Record-breaking result for ‘marvellous’ charity ball

A midsummer ball in aid of national respite centre Leuchie House has netted more than twice as much as any other event in the East Lothian charity’s history.

The aim of The Marvellous Midsummer Ball was to raise enough to buy a new minibus, specially adapted for the charity’s needs. So far over £125,000 has been raised after costs, and with money still coming in, the final total is set to be considerably higher.

The lavish event on Saturday 17 June was organised for Leuchie by the Caledonia Events Committee. The Committee are a group of friends who joined forces in 2011 to organise a high profile event every two years for a small charity close to their hearts.

The Committee’s Chair, Sarah Donaldson explains why Leuchie House was a natural choice for them: “When we first visited Leuchie House last year, we were all truly moved by the stories of the Leuchie guests we met.  The huge difference a respite break at Leuchie makes to them was very clear.  The caring staff, the unique focus on guests’ health and social needs, and the commitment to ensuring every guest has the best possible break,  all combined to make Leuchie a perfect fit for us.  Working with the Leuchie team over the past year to organise the ball has completely reinforced this and we are delighted that we’ve managed to surpass our fundraising target. ”

Mairi O’Keefe, Chief Executive of Leuchie House says this type of fundraising is vitally important to Leuchie: “Every year we need to raise at least £900,000 just to cover the day-to-day running costs at Leuchie, providing respite breaks for people with long term conditions. That makes it very difficult for us to also raise funds for specific projects like a new minibus. 

“Being able to go on outings while they are at Leuchie is one of the things our guests look forward to most. Yet our current bus is nearly nine years old and badly in need of being replaced. Thanks to the incredible generosity of everyone who attended the ball, it will now be a real joy to take our guests out on day trips in the comfort and splendour of a brand new minibus! Everyone at Leuchie would like to say a huge thank you to the Caledonian Events Committee and all those we took part. We are overwhelmed both by the amount raised on the night and the donations which have come in since, all of which will make a huge difference to the work we do.”

The event, hosted by BBC Radio Scotland presenter, John Beattie, was attended by 170 people who came from across Scotland to give their support to Leuchie.  Held in a spectacularly-themed marquee in the grounds of Leuchie House, the evening began with a drinks reception sponsored by Edinburgh Gin.  Following a lavish three-course dinner, a live auction featuring a wide range of high value prizes helped push the fund past the initial target of £80,000. The evening ended with dancing to live music from the WooHoo Band.