BRYCE SUMA CONTRIBUTES TO CHARITABLE CAUSE BORDERS ‘ TARTAN GIRAFFE’ RAISES OVER £300,000 FOR MOTOR NEURONE DISEASE
A special ball organised to support Scotland rugby player Doddie Weir has raised over £300,000, thanks to incredible support from across the farming community. Three of Weir’s friends, former Kelso and South rugby players Stewart Bennet and David Baird, and Douglas Stephen, from the world of farming, got together after the British and Irish Lion was diagnosed with MND and appealed to the Borders community to help to raise funds for Weir’s campaign to improve research into MND. They staged the ‘Tartan Giraffe Ball’ at Springwood Park in Kelso in January, quickly selling out over 500 tickets, and with all costs now paid, have handed over cheques to the Doddie Weir charities for £310,177. The event attracted 180 auction donations from across the UK, including the use of two private jets, unique holidays, a wealth of sporting memorabilia from leading celebrities and donations of agricultural machinery. The Scottish and North Northumberland farming community came out in force and among a wealth of donations from the farming world, a Bryce Suma Post Driver from the Bryce family and a 32-ft Stewart’s trailer donated by James and Mandy Stewart raised more than £25,000 on their own. Many farmers have also contributed through a ‘tonne of grain scheme’ and livestock contributions with are ongoing. Stephen explained: “We have experience of friends and/or family who have suffered with MND and when Doddie’s diagnosis was confirmed we felt it was a good opportunity to invite people across the Borders to come together and help tackle this terrible illness. “We all know Doddie well and his famous on-field work ethic has been to the fore off the field in the way he has sought information about MND and gone out of his way to raise money to fund research. All we did was organise another opportunity for that, and the Borders people took it from there.” Doddie admitted: “I am absolutely blown away by how much the lads have raised. The event itself was a fantastic, unique night that brought big rugby and farming communities together, but the amount of money raised is down to the incredible efforts of Dougie, Stewart and David, who I think spent every waking hour persuading people to donate auction prizes. I take my hat off to all who helped in any way and thank them from the bottom of my heart. There is no doubt that this will help hugely in our battle to find a cure for MND.” Hosted by TV presenters Jill Douglas and Dougie Vipond and attended by many of Doddie’s former international rugby teammates and farming friends, the event also included performances by Ricky Ross of Deacon Blue and John Beattie’s ‘Ruckstars’ band. Notes: The event organisers and foundation trustees have decided that the money raised will be split between two charities with £210,177 going to the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation funding MND research, and £100,000 to the Doddie Weir’5 Discretionary Trust that will help the Weir family cope with the life changing effects of MND. Donations to this Charity can be made at www.myname5doddie.co.uk
The Bryce family would like everyone to try to begin to understand the really incredible amount of time Doddie Weir has dedicated tirelessly to help raise funds for research into MND. Nobody can believe that he just doesn’t stop travelling all over the UK to support people and events, large and small, to create awareness for this incurable disease. If you can, please donate in any way possible to support this great man in such a worthy cause.