Chapter night out, October 2015

Geordie Chapter Stands up for Scarlet, 29 October 2015

Paul McPherson and Barry Gillespie

Scarlet Connelly is an inspirational young lady who was born three months prematurely. This left her severely deaf and with cerebral palsy. Scarlet is now 14 years old and she has become increasingly dependent upon her wheelchair. Since birth, Scarlet has endured many surgical procedures to increase her balance and mobility, Unfortunately, none of these have been successful.

More recently, Scarlet’s healthcare professionals recommended SDR surgery to release the spasticity in her limbs, along with tendon lengthening surgery. This is not funded by the NHS and costs around £50,000, including post-operative care and intensive physiotherapy. Scarlet is also a close family friend of our Secretary. When I heard her story, I asked the Chapter for help with fundraising. It came as no surprise when everyone said they were very keen to do it.

We arranged a music and curry night at the Lancastrian Suite and, following discussions with Barry and Peter, it soon became a Chapter-sponsored event. Music was provided by the fantastic Charlotte Yanni and the amazing Bessie and the Zinc Buckets so I knew we had a great opportunity to raise some funds towards Scarlet’s care.

We had a fantastic turnout from the Geordie Chapter. The evening started with Charlotte Yanni performing a superb mix of covers and original songs and everyone was soon on the dance floor. Many had arrived in Halloween fancy dress, as had Scarlet. It looked like everyone had made a fantastic effort.

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After the curry, we held a raffle and auction. Among the prizes was an H-D experience day. This was in such demand that we were asked to auction a further two days and these boosted the funds by over £400. These will involve a day out with the Geordie Chapter at one of the Chapter ride-outs in 2016.

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After the raffle, Bessie and the Zinc Buckets entertained us with their fantastic musicianship and interactive entertainment. It was a great set, matched by their efforts at this year’s Heart & Soul Rally.

During the performance, the Ladies of Harley sold Geordie Chapter teddies and this raised a further £267 – well done Ladies! The prize for the best Halloween fancy dress was won by Chapter member Shaun Arundel, in a rather fetching winged costume.

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The fundraising was a fantastic success and during a short break, we presented Scarlet and her parents, Shaun and Leona, with a cheque for £3,000. With further contributions, this amount increased to £4,616 (plus gift aid). This will fund a hydrotherapy pool in Scarlet’s home, which will really help her on her long journey ahead.

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The night ended with the Buckets belting out Rock this Town, and we certainly did! Many thanks to the Geordie Chapter from Scarlet and her family. Everyone is very grateful for your generosity and friendship.

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