Well what year 2015 turned out to be! There were ups and downs like there are in most years but fundraising wise I think 2015 was most definitely a year to be proud of.
We we're already well into our £100k Challenge by the time Alexander's Charity Ball came around in February but Oh My Gosh I could never have predicted the amount we could raise at one event. Thanks to everyone who came and everyone who contributed to the mind blowing £40,000 total.
March saw us receive some unexpected news regarding Alexander's death. We were told that he had the rare Long QT Gene. The Long QT study is ongoing and is funded through donations to The Lullaby Trust, without this research we would probably never have known about it. As it is we are well on our way to discovering how this now affects us as a family.
The London Marathon in April had us cheering Rob Preston and Giuseppe Brullo along for the 26 miles and seeing if we could spot those trademark Yellow and Blue vests. Thank You for choosing us as your charity gentlemen.
Our first Charity Golf Day was held in May at Silkstone Golf Club organised spectacularly by Ian. His first foray into heading up the organising and it felt strange to be taking a back seat but he did a fabulous job and it was a great success. It is something we would consider doing again. We also joined forces again with The Barretts for the annual Mile in Memory across The Humber Bridge.
June! June was a big month. The Tower to Tower Cycle ride in the planning for 6 months and duly headed up by the wonderful Lisa Preston and Stephen Crowther, a formidable pair there was nothing and nobody safe when these two are on the hunt for favours! 6 Riders (Including Ian) Rode over 300 miles from London Tower to Blackpool Tower with a small support crew in just over 24 hours. They are now looking at their next riding challenge!
There was a also a wonderful surprise for me in June as I was included in The Independent 100 Happy List. Thank You to The Lullaby Trust for putting me forward I was very humbled to be included amongst some great people doing fabulous things for charities all over the UK.
September was the month I was dreading as my own physical challenge loomed! I had said for a long time I would step out of my comfort zone and run the Great North Run for Alexander. The day before I had cried watching Harrison run the Junior race for Alexander, he was fantastic as running is most definitely not his thing!
It's a fitting event as it falls near the boys birthday and so in 2.29.40 I crossed the finish line with one of my closest friends. It was a spectacular event, the support all the way round is tremendous and the sun shone all day. It didn't put me off running completely, so much so I'm thinking of running it again!
In between all this fundraising we have family life carrying on as normal and 2015 saw us have another school leaver going onto A-Levels and a University Starter. The boys (and friends) are always a massive support with the work we do and are quite often organising their own events or seizing opportunities to get others involved if they can.
Finally in November I was able to let out a secret I had been keeping from everyone since September. Ian had been nominated at work for an Extraordinary People Award and unbeknown to him he had won the award in his category. I had been let in on the secret as the organisers (whom we both know quite well and who knew us at the time Alexander died) wanted to include the whole family on the night.
So having recorded clips for a video presentation and sent various photo's of him over the years, the kids and myself got ourselves to Manchester in secret and surprised the hell out of Ian.
It was so worth it, his face was an absolute picture and finally someone recognises that it's all of us involved in Fundraising (even if it's usually my big mouth that gets us started).
Our £100k Challenge total is currently sitting around the £80,000 mark with Thanks to everyone who has thought up a way to fundraise on our behalf this year and so we decided to extend the timescale to a fitting 17 months, which means we can included the total from Alexander's Charity Ball 2016.
We have just under 8 weeks to reach our goal and 7 weeks to The Ball. There is space available so we would love to see you at Magna on Friday 19th February 2016.
Here is a Thank You to Everyone involved in Fundraising for 2015
Lisa Preston and her many many supporters
Chris and Jilly Julian
The HoneyPot Nursery
Cafe Creme, Penistone
Penistone Ladies Circle
Penistone Round Table
The Huntsman, Thurlstone
Penistone Grammar School and Sixth Form Students
David Schofield and Staff at Morrisons, Barnsley
David and Toni Cross
Thank You everyone who has contributed in every way This is truly an epic amount I'm so amazed at what you've helped me achieve.
Finally Thank You to Ian, Thomas, Jack, Harrison, Joseph and of course Alexander
Here's to 2016 x