May has been an amazing month for giving and networking and having fun. The opportunities are just flying at me and I am finding it a wee bit hard to keep up! Two wonderful community events organized by people I don’t really know (but in the way of Scotland being one huge village I know people who know them). Going along to the events gave me the chance to chat to their friends and acquaintances and once they heard what we are doing, how we are doing it and why, they want to join in too.
Then there was Blingo! Quite my favourite event – our fifth year of running it and it was the best Blingo ever. What’s Blingo, do I hear you ask? Well put simply its bingo, dinner, wine, fun. 260 ladies enjoyed a fabulous dinner at the Roxburghe Hotel in Edinburgh’s beautiful Charlotte Square – the sun shone all day and allowed us to open the doors to a small courtyard off the main reception area to let the ladies enjoy the evening sun while having their reception glass of fizz. (and their photos taken in all their finery for No 1 magazine).
Bling was much in evidence (I had bought a silvery grey sequin wrap to be suitably bling-y) and so was bonhomie. I had warned the TV crew (Did I mention a TV crew from Mactv were filming me? Bit nerve wracking and the selfish thought that kept popping in my head was – doesn’t TV put 10lbs on you??) Anyway I had warned the TV crew that once the ladies were in the sound level would increase. They told me the next day that they simply could not believe the noise! I love it – the buzz from hearing all their chatter and laughter and clinking glasses. I am a bundle of nerves in the days before Blingo – the perfectionist in me wanting it to be just right – but those nerves dissipate as I hear the chatter.
Our new Patron of the charity, Grant Stott and our Ambassador Tonya Macari were the best hosts we could have. I love the role of mine host – walking amongst tables chatting to guests although I take my life in my hands if trying to chat while they are actually playing bingo – this is serious stuff. Our prizes are worth playing for!
Offers of help came in thick and fast – one lady has offered 3 hours a week to do some bookkeeping (yes please!) , another offered to do an event with Harley Davidson bikes – she is a member and they’d either just be at an event or perhaps give a passenger ride for a donation – I liked the sound of that! Yet another offered her house in Spain for a week’s holiday.
The ladies were in a very ‘giving’ mood – in addition to all the offers of practical help they gave a lot of money too.
I am friends with many families of young cancer patients and one of the young people, Shannon, had made some jewellery for us to sell. The day of Blingo was a very special one for her – she was undergoing a bone marrow transplant in Glasgow that very day. Her mum had written a note to be read to the guests. Her generosity of spirit extended to her texting me before Blingo started to wish us luck. We had decided to put two pieces of Shannon’s jewellery into the auction. Grant is a fantastic auctioneer and our guests were most generous. Bidding escalated fast and we raised £1000 for her necklace. Within a few minutes two guests approached me to offer a further £1000 each. Shannon and her mum were ecstatic that they had been able to help us like this. I have more than 20 more pieces of jewellery Shannon has made and our wonderful guests have since asked me to put photos onto the website so they can continue to contribute to It’s Good 2 Give and to let Shannon know that they are thinking of her. She has had a horrible week since the bone marrow transplant – allergy to medicine, fluid retention, vomiting. And what are her thoughts when she is awake? After wanting to keep in touch with her friends it’s “Does Lynne want more jewellery made?” She is a beautiful, caring, thoughtful young lady and I hope the next few days see huge improvements in her health.
I have learnt a lot from the attitudes of the young people of all ages who have fought or are fighting this horrible disease.
Enjoy right now. Right this very second. It’s all we have. We don’t have five minutes or five years ago and we don’t have tomorrow or next month yet. We’ve got right now.
As Mahatma Gandhi is reputed to have said: “The future depends on what we do in the present.”