On Friday evening I experienced something incredible which touched me so much I don’t know how to respond. Three amazing people, Emma B, Emma P and Charlotte came to me a few months ago and said they wanted to do something to help with my Clipper Race fundraising. All are linked to the Brownie group I run as either a fellow leader or a parent of one of the girls. What they achieved has gone so much over my expectations that I am sharing this with you all in my blog.
What the team arranged was a quiz night with silent auction. All I had to do was write the nautical round, be quiz master and bake some cakes, the rest the team sorted! The Brownies got involved with the evening too by creating a round of questions, making Christmas decorations to sell and some current girls, as well as those who are now too old, helped on the evening in various ways too.
The hall was filled with seven quiz teams with a mixture of people who knew one another as well as teams created on the night. The first thing I found overwhelming were the number of people in the room who had all come to support me in my dream. I was actually quite worried about giving my speech as although I enjoy talking, I’m not very good at speaking about myself. I tried to give people a sense of who I was and an insight into what I’ve signed up to do. I was also able to reflect on the fact that my first experience of being a leader was when I was 8 years old and became a Sixer as a Brownie and has to lead a small group of girls. Being involved with guiding has cultivated my sense of adventure and challenge and all the skills I have learnt will stand me in good stead during the race.
Before the evening started, Emma B had mentioned a total that the team were aiming to raise for me. I was stunned when she said they were aiming for £1000 (I was thinking a few hundred pounds would have been a success). One of Charlotte’s daughters said that if we reached that total she would have a bucket of ice-cold water poured over her head so I declared that if the total was more then £1500 then the same would happen to me.
As the evening progressed, the silent action bids were updated on a big screen (all the prizes had been generously donated) as the quiz went on. At the break for fish and chips, the total was reaching the £750 mark – I couldn’t believe it.
The first round after dinner was one which the Brownies had helped create. It followed the concept of ‘family fortunes’ in that the girls had all been asked a set of questions and the teams had to try and guess their top answers. Emma P had then videoed the girls asking the questions along with ending with a video message from the Brownies to those who were at the quiz. It was fun to watch the parents of the girl’s faces when the answers were revealed, which included showing the answers that didn’t make the top three, with the parents hoping it wasn’t their daughter who has answered in that way (in answer to the question ‘name a capital city’ someone had written France as being their answer!).
During the final round the silent auction team were calculating the total amount that the auction had raised. Suddenly I was aware that it was being announced this total was over £1500 and so the bucket of ice water was being prepared… I couldn’t believe it! I was so unprepared for the total to be that great that I hadn’t thought the water was going to be coming anywhere near me and didn’t have a change of clothes with me or even a towel! My improvisation was to raid the Brownie cupboard for some spare uniform so that at least I could keep my dress dry to get the bus home in. As you will see from the video at the bottom of this blog, it was a somewhat cold experience, and yes I was still somewhat soggy when I got the bus home!
I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who supported the event. To the most amazing team for making it all possible and everyone who came along and took part. I couldn’t have dreamed that the final total would be as high as it is, and I am utterly grateful for each and every penny.
In total, the evening has raised a whopping £2001.39 which equates to sending me another 1601.1 miles on my journey. I hope that I can inspire the girls who attend my Brownies that they too can follow their dreams.