The main event

It’s not every day you come across your colleagues spray painting 200 horseshoes gold…

That’s because it’s no ordinary time at Leuchie House.  As I write, we’re about to have two of the biggest fundraising events we’ve ever had.

On 17 June, we’ll host the Marvellous Midsummer Ball. This special event is being organised for Leuchie by the Caledonia Events Committee, a group of friends who’ve joined forces to support charities by organising ‘marvellous’ events. Every two years they choose a small charity to support and pull out all the stops to raise a significant amount of money. We were thrilled when we learned Leuchie was their charity for 2017 with the aim of raising enough to buy a much-needed new minibus.  

Just five days after the Ball, the marquee on the Leuchie lawn will be decked out again for our Ascot Afternoon. Hence the reason for spray painting reclaimed horseshoes! Back for its fifth year and hosted by comedian Elaine C Smith, this event is a significant part of our annual fundraising programme, having raised £57,000 for Leuchie to date.

If you’ve ever been involved in organising a big fundraising event, you’ll know that the amount of work that goes in to it is considerable.  Catering, ticketing, theming, publicity, sponsorship, auctions - the list is endless.  All on top of providing five-star round-the-clock care to our guests.  So why do it?

For us, the benefits of these types of events are enormous. Obviously the money raised is number one. The amount that can be generated in a few hours at an event is greater than through any other type of fundraising activity we’re involved in.

The opportunity to reach new audiences and build long-term relationships is also vitally important.  Among those attending our two events this month will be several hundred people we’ll introduce to Leuchie for the first time. Experience tells us many of them will continue to be involved with Leuchie in the future and introduce more new people to what we do - vital to the growth and development of our charity.

So pass me the spray paint. It’s all completely worth it!

Mairi O'Keefe, Chief Executive, Leuchie House. Published in The East Lothian Courier, 22 June 2017.