Great day for a great cause, de­spite the weather and no-shows

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page -

Let’s face it, you can only ac­count for so much when try­ing to or­gan­ise an event. You can put the right peo­ple in place, del­e­gate jobs and ap­pro­pri­ate roles. Book a venue, make sure the crowd can be fed and wa­tered as well as en­ter­tained. Then ad­ver­tise the liv­ing day­lights out of it! Sell enough tick­ets prior to the event to make sure costs are cov­ered and make sure the sched­ule is wa­ter­tight (irony). Make sure there is enough park­ing on the day and there are enough tick­ets for some late-com­ers. That’s about it – a place for ev­ery­thing and ev­ery­thing in its place, there’s noth­ing more to be done ex­cept turn up and en­joy. Oh yes, and hope the weather be­haves it­self and doesn’t go all win­ter on us, the one thing you can’t or­gan­ise! Well, for some rea­son, the weather de­cided it didn’t want to play ball (just like some of our “promised” celebri­ties and my first pun) and took it upon it­self to rain, rain and then rain some more. It very nearly ru­ined ev­ery­thing for the kmfm Char­ity Chal­lenge Cup match at the Julie Rose Sta­dium on Sun­day, but at the same time re­stored my faith in hu­man na­ture and showed me what our com­mu­nity is all about. Whereas a host of celebri­ties looked out of the win­dow in the morn­ing, saw the weather and went back to bed, it didn’t stop you lot turn­ing up in your droves to show the spirit of what this event was all about, rais­ing money for Help for He­roes. You clapped, sang, cheered and joined in with ev­ery­thing, there wasn’t a mope or a moan, a gripe or a groan in sight as you re­fused to let the weather dampen your spir­its (sec­ond pun). I feel I should apol­o­gise for the lack of sup­port from our “promised” celebri­ties, but that part of the day, as well as the weather, was out of our hands. But I’m very proud of my team, who all turned up to play their part in the day, and I can’t thank them enough. There are an abun­dance of peo­ple to thank who gave their time and en­ergy to make this hap­pen, none more than Gary Kir­ton, the driv­ing force be­hind the whole show. By the end of the day, he looked as if he’d done 12 rounds with Joe Calza­ghe (an­other no-show). Also, mas­sive re­spect to Steve Monk and Ben “friend” Wat­son and their en­tourage who, through ap­palling con­di­tions, built a stage for the evening con­cert, only for the plug to be pulled at the last minute. But man­fully they went to plan B and lugged ev­ery­thing in­side to make the mu­sic hap­pen re­gard­less. I can’t men­tion ev­ery­one, ob­vi­ously, but thank you all so much, you know who you are. To date, we have ex­ceeded last year’s money raised, which was £12,000, and I will give you the fi­nal fig­ure ASAP. And, fi­nally, some­thing hap­pened at the end that brought it all home to me. I was thanked for my ef­forts by a lovely lady who has two sons serv­ing out in Iraq, who said: “I’ll al­ways sup­port any­thing that Help for He­roes do, it’s an amaz­ing char­ity, but I hope and pray my kids never have to use it. When they are away, ev­ery time the phone rings, my stom­ach flips and I fear the worst.”

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