So a few weeks ago one of my oldest friends dropped a major challenge on the Facebook masses. That challenge is to raise £10,000 by July this year. Now before I go on I better give a bit of context.
Just over five years a go, two of my best mates lost their mum Veronica to Cancer. To say this floored them is an understatement. Both brothers and their dad for that matter absolutely adored their mum as did many many others.
The loss of his mum sparked a philanthropic spirit in my friend Luke that I can’t recall seeing in many others, not any that I have actually met anyway. Starting in July 2009 with a 49 man Charity Golf Day followed by the Great North Run that September, Luke has organised or undertaken a series of charitable activities every year that has raised £56,000 for Cancer and Lukemia charities in just 4 years. An absolutely amazing feat that earned him the Unsung Hero award at our local newspapers Sports Awards last year.
The centre piece of his fundraising activities is the now annual Veronica Claxton Memorial Golf Day which has now grown to 116 players, yes that’s right 116 players all teeing off at roughly the same time, and raised over £13000 on its own in the last two years. The Golf day is always followed by a barbecue and raffle which has some truly amazing prizes and ensures the local pub is rammed full of people and a unbelievable atmosphere. In each of the last two years, the golf day alone has contributed over £6000 to that £56k total I mentioned earlier.
That is the background now down to the £10k challenege. Luke posted a message on his Facebook page a couple of weeks ago. Well, I say message it was more a call to arms announcing that this yeara target was to raise £10k and enlisting the support of anyone that could think of something to do to raise even the smallest amount of money for The Woodlands Cancer Centre in Huntingdon and Clic Sargent a childrens Lukemia charity. Both amazing causes. Well the response what outstanding. Pledges coming in have included bake sales, coffee mornings, a five hour charity football match, the three peaks challenge and even weight loss targets plus lots more all in addition to the Golf day. Incredible!
Well for my part I have followed suit with another and pledged, starting last week, to lose 3 stone and 12lbs – a very specific amount but this is because it will take me from 19st 12lbs down to 16st and I have pledged to do this by the end of July. I have lost 3 1/2 stone before but this wont be easy. It took my a year to do that and I only have 6 months for this. It also happens to be the year that I turn 30 along with my wife and a number of my friends, pretty much all of them before this challenge will be over. I also have my sons 1st birthday, barbecue season, the World Cup and the summer festival season all of which usually entail some unhealthy food or barrell fulls of alcohol. No easy task in deed.
I am also very time poor at the moment given the time requirements of my new job, my radio work and fatherhood so have very little time to work out. I am already regularly up until 1am just to fit everything in plus at least a little relaxation time. However, I am determined to do this and will make sure I find time for at least some excercise to help. Anything is better than nothing right?
I would never usually go public with something like this. I usually like to do it quietly and hate people asking me how the diet is going, have I tried this, have I tried that – anything that reminds me I am dieting is generally extremely annoying. Taking this public then is a challenge itself. I have already started asking for sponsorship and I am bery grateful to everyone who has pledged something. I have come up with the not so imaginative but very catchy “£ for lb” requests to which some have gladly signed up but really sponsorship can be anything people want. 10p per lb, 50p per lb or even just a fixed amount. Anything will help. All money will go to Luke’s 10k Challenge and ultimately to the Woodlands Cancer Centre and Clic Sargent.
I hate letting people down so hopefully taking this public and being for charity will really keep me on the straight. I lost 3lbs in the first week so a good start. I will keep the blog updated with my progress so those who have sponsored me can keep track of how I am getting on. Who knows it may even inspire a few rants or even some funny little stories. Hopefully the above story will also inspire others to become philanthropists and help some great causes. There is a lot of great work to be done out there.
I will also be looking to put on a charity gig later in the year but I will post more details about that as the details get sorted out. However if anyone reading this is in a band and might fancy playing a charity gig for these very good causes. Get in touch and we can have a chat.
Turn on, Tune in, Rock out!