RUNNING UP GRAND TOTAL FOR KAYLEIGH
Charity in toddler’s memory passes half-million mark
A CHARITY set up in memory of a North-east toddler has passed the half-million pound milestone.
Kayleigh’s Wee Stars (KWS), based in Oldmeldrum, reached the figure after its annual cycle event saw the number of entrants double in the space of a year.
The event, held in Ballater, saw 260 participants cycle 57- and 95-mile routes.
The charity, founded by Jonathan and Anna Cordiner, was started in 2012 after the death of their twoyear-old daughter Kayleigh from an atypical teratoid rhaboid tumour, a type of terminal brain tumour.
Having taken time off work as primary teachers to make the most of Kayleigh’s last months, Jonathan and Anna set up KWS in order to provide financial support for other families who may not have the support network they had.
The 2017 Ballater fundraiser, which alone raised more than £10,000, was supported by TechnipFMC, which set up corporate teams and a JustGiving page to raise further funds.
Along with the annual cycle event, which took place last weekend, KWS also organises and hosts a 10k race in Barra which is now in its third year.
Participants of the challenging cross country run must make the 1km ascent of Barra Hill, near Anna said: “It’s a route Jonathan Oldmeldrum, and cross the site of ran when Kayleigh was poorly so it the Battle of Barra, which took place has a special meaning.” more than 700 years ago. The inaugural 10k race in 2016 raised £15,000, and both events have attracted 300 entrants.
As well as organising its own events, Kayleigh’s Wee Stars has attended many sports gatherings over the years including the Newmachar 10k, Beast Race, Hazlehead ParkRun and the Extreme North Quarathon in Ireland.
It has also hosted a number of fundraisers including ladies days, sponsored slims, jumble sales and raffles.
Jonathan, the head teacher of Meiklemill School in Ellon, said: “We are also extremely lucky that people often choose KWS to raise funds for by being sponsored at sporting events. A main source of our charity income is when we are a business’s nominated charity for the year. This current year ASCO has pledged to raise £50,000 to split between ourselves and SANDS, and TechnipFMC sponsored our cycle ride.”
The £500,000 raised by Jonathan and Anna, along with their close friends Nicola and Ewan Alexander and Keith Paterson, will go towards families across the country living with a terminal illness.
Anna said: “Our main aim is to relieve the financial pressure on these families and allow parents to take time off work to spend with their child.
“We make sure that each family receives enough money to make a significant difference to their circumstances.”
Proud our little girl has made such a huge difference
in the saddle: Two of the participants of the charity’s Ballater cycling event. family: Jonathan and Anna Cordiner with daughter Kayleigh.