Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Our fantastic Olympic fundraiser!

A few weeks ago Dougie and I hosted a fabulous Fundraising night. The idea for the 9th October event hatched a while back when we sat down and budgeted what we needed in order to get to the Sochi Olympics. Despite both having very generous support from our sponsors (mine being Columbus Direct, Caxton FX, Jack Wolfskin, Skiset and Reeves, Dougie’s Sky Scanner, Hazledene, Ski Scotland and Nevica) we still fell far short of our target.
Instead of taking the easy way out and using some kind of Kick-starter website, we decided to challenge ourselves by organising an event - a night combining our passions - sport, cuisine and rock music!

My philosophy in life is on the lines of Go Big or Go Home so in our first venture into the world of event hosting and managing we pulled out all the stops. From the historical and stunning venue of Plaisterer’s Hall to the colourful and professional Question of Sport set, from asking the help of the fantastic Auctioneer (and fellow sportsman) Ed Giddins to the best after dinner entertainment band in the UK, RPJ.

Alongside the support of Sporting Legends and many Gold medallists including Amy Williams, Pete Reed, Graham Bell, Simon Shaw and Brian Moore and my close Dancing on Ice pals Heidi Range and Chico, the event MCed by Matt Chilton proved a resounding success.

Not only did we raise almost double our predicted goal (huge thanks here go to Graham Bell and his Ski Sunday prize experience and Canadian Affair who contributed so generously to the auction) but smiles were seen on every face throughout the patriotically lit room!

Thanks go to Matt Chilton, Heidi Range, Chico, Graham Bell, Amy Williams, Pete Reed, Simon Shaw and Brian Moore for, despite not being prepared, got involved to help us with our fundraising.

The highlight for many guests was definitely the chance to see the “man love” between Chico and Graham (whilst they re-enacted a Greco Roman Wrestling pose) and Simon Shaw lying on top of Brian Moore (as the two man luge!)

Thank you all for losing your inhibitions!!

More thanks to Ed Giddins and his hugely energetic and persuasive performance in helping us with the Live Auction and thank you to the many who donated such fabulous prizes.

Naturally no Ski Fundraiser would be complete without the opportunity to challenge friends to the Shot Ski!

And just when guests thought the night was coming to a close, Rick Parfitt Junior rocked everyone’s socks off and proved once again that he is THE best band (in this case Apres Ski band) ever.

One more big thanks goes to Bidtech who helped us design some awesome iPads for the evening!

All the hard work that Dougie and I put in (he whilst on a 7 week training camp in Chile and myself fitting it around all my rehab) definitely paid off. We thought it would be a one off but a few weeks post event many an email has been received saying that the guests can’t wait to do it all again next year. So now my mind starts working - maybe this is how I can help the next generation. I believe we have the potential to be a massively competitive ski nation. The BSS are supporting the technical skiers. But what about us downhillers? We have proved that we can be fast in the past - Konrad Bartelski, the Bell brothers, Finlay Mickel, myself and Dougie - so why take that away from the future British Speedy gonzales. Maybe by making this Fundraiser a yearly event Dougie and I can create a team of talent - youngsters with the potential and guts to follow in our footsteps and hopefully send them down to Chile during the summer for some much needed experience on the speed side.

Food for thought?

Don’t get me started!!

First my focus is Sochi and NOTHING is going to stand in my way!

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