A highly competitive Pickle Wars this January not only saw event organiser, Terry Ashdown crowned ‘Pickle King’ but also raised over £6,000 for Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF) taking the total amount raised for the charity by the event to an amazing £71,719.
The contest at the Woodvale Hotel in Gurnard to see who can produce the best pickled onions started as a bit of fun 15 years ago and has become a real fixture in the Isle of Wight calendar. This year’s event was particularly successful – something Terry believes was due to some very special auction prizes and a lot of hard work!
“We are luck to have strong support from the communities of Cowes and Gurnard and some very attractive auction lots donated this year included an outing for 70 in a privately owned double decker bus, a day’s sailing on the Solent and a catering package for 30 people,” he explains. “Special thanks however, must go to the Woodvale manager, Kev Parkin. Kev puts 100% into the event – from begging for donations for auction lots and raffle prizes from all the trades people he deals with, to running the auction and creating such a fantastic atmosphere that people go beyond the normal expected bids. Without Kev the event would not happen.”
The fundraising total means a lot to Terry as Children’s Liver Disease Foundation is a charity close to his heart.
“My 15 year old grandson Daniel was born with a rare liver disease and it was at that point that we decided to turn our fun competition into a fundraiser,” he explains. “Luckily he is currently well, but childhood liver disease is a lifelong condition. There is no cure and we need to know that CLDF will always be there for him and other young people like him.”
Chief Executive of CLDF, Alison Taylor is delighted with the total raised: “We are the only UK charity dedicated to fighting all forms of childhood liver disease. We do this by providing information for healthcare professionals, emotional support for families, funds for research and a voice for all affected. To continue our work we rely entirely on voluntary donations which is why we are so grateful to all those who make the Pickle Wars such a success. You cannot underestimate the amount of hard work it takes to make an event both great fun and a fabulous fundraiser and the team at the Woodvale do this brilliantly. They should be truly proud of what they have raised over the years and be assured they are making a real difference to young people with liver disease throughout the UK.”