Earlier this year we threw a party. On 18th March instead of nursing a St Patrick’s Day hangover we celebrated Lyla. We threw a huge fundraising night for our community, complete with dinner, dancing, raffles, auctions, games and of course a few drinks.
The purpose of the night was to raise funds to help pay for Lyla’s therapy and equipment. We are incredibly lucky to live in a country where the NHS, social work and the education department provide a great deal support, which would not have been readily available in Australia, but there are always addition costs. There is ABM therapy in Ireland and Feldenkrais in Glasgow plus music therapy, ballet, communication aids, bath seats, ramps, the list goes on and these all cost money. Lyla is not eligible for Disability Living Allowance until she has been in the country for two years so while, in the future, DLA will cover a large chunk of these costs, we have been covering these costs ourselves for the past 18 months.
So many of our friends and family had asked how they could help Lyla and so we threw a big old party. Our community is amazingly generous, the raffle prizes and the auction prizes that were gifted were phenomenal. I’ve included a list of many of the businesses who gave prizes at the bottom of this post.
We had auction items ranging from a fortnight at a Spanish apartment, a week at a Devon cottage, signed football strips, Scott Brown’s signed football boots, a polo shirt signed by Rory McIlroy and an amazing painting of Rory. Raffles prizes included accommodation and dinner at ABode Glasgow, perfumes, whisky, cupcakes, hairdressing vouchers, flowers and so much more.
I’m not going to lie, organising the event was a massive undertaking. From promoting the event to following up the payments for ticket sales, designing the event program, the auction brochure, table numbers and seating charts, we did it all ourselves. And of course I thought it would be a great idea to make vases of pompom flowers for all 12 tables – that’s 144 pompoms all up. I swear even the sight of a pompom was enough to make me feel queasy for weeks after the event! But after all the pompom and printing stress, I was so pleased with the final set up of the hall, it looked fantastic.
Of course in true Scots style that night it poured with rain and the school mums drank the bar dry of gin! True story – you could tell beforehand that it was a Scottish event because we had many concerned texts from friends and family about whether or not the hall would have enough alcohol for the night and whether they should bring a stash of alcohol in the boot of their car incase of a shortage!
As it was the night was a huge success, the bar remained wet, (apart from the gin!), and we danced until late into the night. There were more than a few sore heads the next morning. Lyla stayed the course and loved being the belle of the ball. I may have had a little cry when thanking everyone for coming – I have previous form for doing this after crying during my wedding vows in front of many of the same 140 people, it seems like I have now made this a tradition.
In the end, the night raised nearly £7500 which far exceeded our wildest dreams. If the night had raised even a tiny fraction of that amount we would still have said it was the best night we could have asked for. Everyone was there to show their love and support for Lyla and to celebrate what a rockstar she is. It gave us a chance to thank our Scottish and Norn Irish community and family for everything they have done to make this beautiful place a home for us all.
As we’ve found to be true previously, it really does take a village to raise a child and it takes a very special and wide spread village to raise a child with a severe disability. We continue to be amazed at how generous and loving our village is.
Thanks to –
The Little Blue Bake
The Glasgow Club