Dinner raises £11,000 for Fort museum funds
MORE than £11,000 was raised at a charity event as local people and business folk congregated to support a Fort William museum.
A total of 123 people attended the special dinner last Saturday night in the Moorings Hotel.
Organised by the committee of the West Highland Museum, the funds were raised through games, a raffle and an ‘incredible’ auction which saw bidders compete for fishing packages, Range Rover experiences and exclusive whisky.
Colleen Barker, who has managed the museum for more than five years, said she organised the event to help cover the building’s running and unexpected costs.
She explained: ‘The idea for the event came about when in the first week of this financial year our boiler packed in. That was a bill of £ 5,000 so my aim was to cover that but we ended up doubling that and a bit more. The atmosphere on the night was tremendous. We had live music and I think everyone enjoyed themselves. I can’t thank people enough who helped out. The generosity of not just local businesses but local people has been wonderful.’
John Hutchison explained the independent museum has relied more heavily on fundraising and visitors to keep it afloat in recent years as support from grants has diminished.
He added: ‘We went for free admission four or five years ago so the number of visitors is good but Colleen and the committee do a wonderful job of keeping things ticking over.’
Guest speaker at the West Highland Museum fundraising dinner Mairi Hedderwick, second right, with museum representatives Iain Peter MacDonald, left, Colleen Barker and John Hutchison.