In October 2007, my friend Kathy and I attended our first CRY bereavement support day at Wimbledon Park Golf Club. Whilst driving home and discussing the day, we decided we wanted to do something to raise some money for CRY in Cheryl’s memory. Ron and Donna (Cheryl’s Dad and sister) were in agreement.
Kathy’s church St. Joseph’s donated their hall; Gina in the office printed the tickets in Cheryl’s favourite colour, lilac; all we had to do was think of 150 people we knew who had been in Cheryl’s life at one time or another, to fill the hall!
Ron, Donna and I started looking at old photos and chatting about happier times with Cheryl in our lives.
We contacted our families, old friends and neighbours, people we had met on holiday, Cheryl’s old school friends, girls from her Brownie and Guide groups, current friends and neighbours. We had a fantastic response and may people bought the £10 tickets or made a donation if they could not come. After a few weeks we were sold out!
Next, we needed to get raffle prizes, so we called on local shops, fitness places, the cinema and theatre – all of whom gave generously – and also friends and family gave us donations too. One neighbour donated a week’s holiday in a cottage in Rye, Kent. The Chairman of Charlton Athletic Football Club donated 4 tickets to the first match of next season.
The music and the buffet was being organised by friends Gabriel, Zoe and Judy. I contacted the local newspaper and asked them if they would report on the event – they agreed. Donna’s partner Ben offered to take photos. We were all set – it was really happening!
We arrived at the hall on the 10th of May at 5pm. Plenty of friends had offered to help set up tables, dress them, put out nibbles, organise the raffle table, put up pictures of Cheryl around the walls, tie CRY balloons at the entrance and set out the buffet.
Time flew by and people started to arrive just before 7.30pm.
Soon the hall was filling up, the music was playing, people were greeting one another, chatting and catching up with one another’s news; drinks were flowing and the buffet was going down a treat.
Five pairs of ladies sold raffle tickets at £5 a strip or 3 strips for £10 – and at 9pm Cheryl’s older sister Donna and best friend Caroline drew all 23 of the winning tickets – all without the aid of a mic which had a technical fault at the time!
When we knew how much money had been raised from ticket sales, donations and the raffle, we quickly filled in a dummy cheque our bank had given us, and invited CRY’s Representative for Kent, Allison Spalding, to join Ron, Donna and myself on the stage.
We were absolutely delighted to present Allison with a cheque for £2477 – everybody had been so generous it was amazing. Cheryl would be so proud.
Allison said a few words about the work of CRY and how important fundraising is. We then cut the cakes – one white with red roses for CRY, the other white with lilac and pink roses in loving memory of Cheryl.
The rest of the evening was spent on the dance floor, everyone twisting, conga-ing and boogie-ing the night away. Oh what a night!
Special thanks to Kathy Lenihan, Ben Tegally, and 10-year-old Eloise Jones who saved up her pocket money to give to CRY.
Sandra Glassborow (Cheryl’s Mum)