A fundraising event can be a huge success, even if it starts with a hitch, as Heather discovered recently.
I was put in touch with CLDF when my daughter, Lily, was diagnosed with primary sclerosing cholangitis and subsequently needed a liver transplant, and I found the support, really helpful.
A friendly voice on the end of the phone….a quick response to an email enquiry… Hive where Lily can ‘meet’ other children who have undergone a liver transplant and realise that she is not the only one….the specialist knowledge… the experience….the calmness…the reassurance….the signposting…..they have all been invaluable.
So I was keen to give something back. My first moment of madness was to agree to do the London Marathon – a challenging but amazing experience – and soon afterwards my husband Gareth and I came up with the idea of ‘Lilyfest’.
We thought it would be fun to host a music festival/family day at our local village hall. We booked some 80s themed tribute acts, a bouncy castle ,face painters and various stalls and arranged a raffle and auction. We thought it would be a great way of raising funds and awareness for CLDF.
We put lots of thought into planning the event, allocated everyone their job and the Bank Holiday Weekend weather looked kind enough not to stop anyone from coming out. So it was a heart-stopping moment with 45 minutes until the door opened when, not having heard from the person running the bar, we rang her and she claimed she didn’t know anything about it, hadn’t got it in her diary and didn’t have any stock!
Fortunately, with support from friends, our local pub and local garage who provided us with beers, wines and spirits at ‘sale or return’, we were able to improvise and get our own bar up and running just in time!
The entertainment was fabulous… the fish and chips sold from a van from our local chippy and our own pork rolls all went down well, as did the strawberries and cream and the Pimms and lemonade.
The children loved the bouncy castle, face painter and lucky dip.
Gareth took charge of the raffle but then also had to step in as auctioneer as the person who was going to that suddenly couldn’t. All in all, it was just amazing.
And to cap it all, thanks to the support of our family and friends and the local community we feel proud to have raised a whopping £5300 for CLDF!!!!
Sometimes things don’t go quite to plan but they can still be brilliant fun. Lilyfest was amazing.. exhilarating… overwhelming.. and brilliant all rolled into one – and it feels so good now to reflect on what we have accomplished – all in honour of Lily and CLDF!