Supporting children born without eyes or with underdeveloped eyes

These are our recent winners!

Star Fundraiser of the Month March 2017

Congratulations to Karen Stainton for being the Star Fundraiser in March 2017! Karen agreed with her son's school to not only hold a non uniform day but also raise awarenes of MACS during a presentation at the school assembly, during which her brave son Peter read the Mr Eye Man book to the other children. Well done to Karen! Find out about the story below.

Congratulations Keren! Please tell us what you've been up to.

I have managed to persuade my son's school to hold a non-uniform day where children will wear running clothes instead, as well as a school assembly during which my son Peter will deliver a presentation reading MACS' "Eye Man" book to help the children understand a little bit about what happens when children are born without eyes, as well as tell them about MACS in general and mummy's first marathon!

That's brilliant! How did you go about agreeing with the school to organise the assembly and non-uniform day?

I first approached the Head Teacher in the playground and explained what I was doing and could they help me with a non-uniform day, she said I should email her which I did...twice...eventually her Deputy replied and invited me to go in and talk to her.  I took the MACS leaflet and explained my history of running, that it was my first marathon and then went into the work that MACS does, I focussed on the fact that it would be a good positive example for the children i.e. keeping fit and raising money for children less fortunate than themselves. So, non-uniform date agreed, we drew up a newsletter that would go out to all children that week, telling them about the upcoming assembly and non-uniform day, and asking for support! 

I then went to the school charity committee meeting this week where there is a rep from each class and year group, I took along balloons, pens, flags, leaflets and printed off the "where your money goes" poster to give out too.  I talked to the children about MACS and that we were having the non-uniform day to raise money and that Peter (my son) would be doing a presentation at all school assembly to tell them them about his mum running 26 miles and the work of MACS and to also read the Eye Man book so that the children understand a bit more… Hopefully then they will go home and tell their parents and bring £1 in on the non-uniform day. The charity reps then go back to their classes and spread the word (obviously armed with their balloons!). 

I'm putting together a Powerpoint presentation for Peter to go through so that the children have pictures to look at and it's not all eyes on him! However, he's really keen to do it and not a bit nervous!

Well done to Karen for her efforts in organising the activities and her brave son Peter for presenting in front of other school children at the assembly!

 

Star Fundraiser of the Month February 2017

Congratulations to Sandy Page for being the Star Fundraiser in February 2017! Team MACS Marathon runner Sandy has made the most of her various skills and contacts, organising a village hall night & raffle as well as offering cakes to her swimming students and raising over £1100 so far. Find out more below!

Congratulations Sandy! Please tell us what you've been up to.

I am fortunate enough to run a swimming school which has 400 children a week attend who all come out hungry! A cake sale at the pool started off the pot nicely then with the help of my very kind band members we managed to organise a party night in the local village hall where myself and the band played a range of lively music to get everyone dancing. Tickets to the event sold out and the total has just reached £1100 as a result.  It was so much fun doing it too a great night all round!

How did you go about organising the party at the village hall? Do you have any tips for others who may want to do the same?

I was fortunate that previously my band had been involved in a fundraiser for a local school so the idea wasn't new, I simply borrowed the format. Once a venue and date were agreed I advertised on the school playground, around the community and on social media and most of the community bought tickets.  We had quite a few expenses for equipment but the band kindly all donated their time for free.  As we had an audience of nearly 150 it was perfect time to raffle off a wheelbarrow full of alcohol which various friends had donated which all helped towards the total. My advice for others would be that the raffle probably made the most in one go but it did require lots of scrounging for bottles of alcohol to fill the wheelbarrow, asking in person worked best for getting donations!

That's brilliant. You would probably say that it’s best to make use of your workplace, sports clubs (be it swimming or running!) and other contacts for fundraising. Do you have any other advice for others?

It is easier if you can use work as a platform or anywhere that there are large groups of people, the cake sale worked well for me as I have a market of hungry children.  I had been wary of doing a cake sale as I'm not a great cook and it takes time I didn't have so I did a skills swap with another mum who is a caterer who needed a few lessons for her children to help their swimming.  This worked really well as the cakes were packaged so lasted well I just had to avoid eating too many. 

Advice for others would be to use whatever you are good at whether it“s organising an event or selling your skills and keep motivated that every little bit really does help!

Star Fundraiser of the Month January 2017

Congratulations to Steve Hurn for being the Star Fundraiser for January 2017! Steve is preparing to run the London Marathon having supported his wife who had run for MACS the year before. So far he has raised an amazing £800 using a very creative London Marathon course map raffle as well as a life size cut out of himself decorated in MACS memorabilia. Find out more below!

Congratulations Steve! Please tell us what you’ve been up to.

As far as my fundraising is going, I am lucky enough to run a small family appliance shop and asked various suppliers for gifts.  I have been overwhelmed with them giving things like washing machines, vacuums and coffee makers etc.  I then came up with an idea to best use these gifts.  I got a map of the entire London marathon course and split it into 200 numbered squares.  I am then selling these squares at £5.00 each and then in April a draw will take place and whoever has bought the square that contains a prize wins that prize. It has gone down a storm and the dots are the numbers that have sold so far in just 2 weeks.

In a couple of weeks time I am doing a big window display in our shop showing all the prizes that have been donated so far and I have had a life size cut out of me running in a race a while back and this will go in with the MACS balloons and flags etc.  The response has been great with some people just donating without actually wanting a square. It has so far raised approx £800 with over half of the squares still to be sold.

Brilliant. Do you have a special reason for running the marathon?

It may sound cheesy but my reason for running for MACS is simply because they are such a lovely charity.  I had not heard of them until last year when my wife ran for them in London.  As a spectator I went to various points to cheer her on and was overwhelmed by the support the MACS children and Families gave to their runners and even before the start the friendliness was amazing and the children were so happy I could see what a difference your charity made to their lives and the lives of their families.  It was at that point I made up my mind that if MACS would have me, then the next year I would run for them.

What  advice would you give to other fundraisers?

I am no expert but I have done a fair bit of fundraising and I always find it works best to try and do something that gives something in return for their donation, I think it is human nature that even though we like to help great causes, it is also nice to get a little something back.  This time it is the treasure map that they can win various booty but last year my wife ran a quiz night for friends and family, it is surprising how much can be raised on top of the ticket price with a raffle and drinks.  I think my best advice would be if you are contacting businesses for gifts etc start early as from experience they have limited expenditure for this and if left too late someone will have asked first!!  

Keep posting your fundraising page on social media as it is amazing how many friends will think "I'll do a donation later" and then forget, so keep posting so they can't forget.

Above all enjoy whatever you do and remember it is a fantastic charity that we are raising funds for and they deserve every penny we get for them.

 

Star Fundraiser of the Month March 2016

Congratulations to the wonderful Sophie Grogan; our Star Fundraiser for March 2016! Sophie is an extremely deserving winner of this Award having supported MACS by running the London Marathon for the past five years! In 2015, she even took things a step further and also took part in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100! She is indeed an absolute STAR and we hope she is very proud of her achievements. Read on for further details of Sophie's amazing efforts in aid of our charity.

How did you come up with the idea of One Night Only and I Dreamed a Dream?
Back in 2012, when I was faced with the challenge of fundraising for my MACS marathon place, I decided to put my previous musical theatre training and professional experience to good use. I have always enjoyed planning events and it wasn’t a surprise to my friends and family that I would perform and produce a songs-from-the-musicals style production.

After discussions with my then-producer Brett, we conceived "I DREAMED A DREAM" which ran for four years, performing at our local 420 seater theatre, The Redditch Palace. This year was the first year I produced "ONE NIGHT ONLY” alongside my drama school friend Daniel Summers on Saturday 19th March which made over 3K!

How did you manage to organise it all so successfully!
With this being my fifth year of fundraising, I have been lucky enough to have the time to reflect on it and make the relevant changes and improvements. Organising the shows takes time and patience; especially when you are relying on a large group of people to work together to produce something that needs to be good enough for a paying audience!

I have always communicated to the cast how much they are helping to change the lives of MACS children. I also plan ahead! I think about the small things - you may have a big event, but it’s the little things that make it run smoothly, for example, do you have the right stationery and enough raffle   books?

Is there any reason why you have chosen MACS as your charity?  
I chose MACS after meeting Mia, my brother’s friends’ daughter, at my brother's wedding. I was very touched by her condition as I had never heard of it and had no idea her condition even existed. However, I heard that there was a charity supporting Mia and her family. Fran, Mia’s mum, knew I was a keen runner and suggested that I run the London Marathon for MACS, I said “yes” in an instant.

MACS are great at giving me the support and advice I need and meeting the MACS children at the end of the marathon made it all worthwhile, which is why I came back four years running - literally!

Do you have any fundraising or other advice for other MACS fundraisers?
If I was to give other fundraisers advice, I would say… Never underestimate anyone around you, always ask the question; ask people to attend your event and if they can’t attend, give them an option to get involved in another way, for example, a raffle or a silent auction. Research your charity, meet the people you’re helping and know what you’re talking about when you are asked about the charity. Your passion will come across to those listening to you.

How can you extend your event? It wasn’t just the ticket sales that brought in revenue for me, it was also the raffle, the sale of programmes, DVDs and even silent auctions! Social media is your friend, 95% of my donations come through Facebook. MACS are a wonderful charity and it has been a pleasure to commit the last five years of my life to. It has been a fantastic experience!

Thank you Sophie; we’ve been honoured and touched to receive your ongoing and committed support over the last five years.

If you would like to support Sophie’s fundraising in aid of MACS, please visit: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SophieGrogan

 

Star Fundraiser of the Month February 2016

Congratulations to Nichola for kicking off our 2016 awards! Nichola says: I wanted to do something different, so organised various events and activities to raise funds towards my London Marathon target. My key event was a neon Zumba dance class night for 30 ladies. A friend ran an hour-long dance class in a local pub, which was followed by music, a buffet, face painting, a 20-prize raffle, and more dancing! Each participant went home with a party bag too. This event raised £850 in one night which was fantastic! I also made various things and sold them as Christmas gifts. In total, I’ve raised over £1,300 to date with more coming in too!

Did you have a particular reason for supporting MACS?

Yes, my dad is blind and deaf so this charity is very close to my heart. MACS really opens your eyes to how hard it is for people without eyesight.

How do you feel about your achievements so far and about winning MACS’ Star Fundraiser award?

I arranged the events on my own and worked really hard to make them a success. The ladies had a fabulous time and all my efforts were really worthwhile.

My dad is very proud of the money that has been raised so far especially for such a good cause. It’s been great how my friends have all come together to support me too - not only in raising the money but also with the training. I've not had to do one run on my own and so this award is for all of us!

MACS has been with me from the start too; I've had all the support I've needed. I'm glad I choose MACS - you've made it very easy to raise money for and now so many more people know about the charity.

Well done and thanks for all your efforts Nichola!

If you’d like to donate to Nichola’s fundraising page and help her to raise funds for MACS, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/Nichola-Dye/

 

 

Star Fundraiser of the Month October 2015

Well done to the MACS Factors who have raised more than £4,000 for MACS! The MACS Factors are Pip, James, Jake, Cheryl, Debbie, Tim, Hannah, Nigel, Nic, Leonie, Mike, Melanie, Terry, Harry and Dan. Most of us have known Florence, a 5 Year old member of MACS, since she was born. She is a very special family member to over half of us and the remainder of the team are good friends of Pip and the family. We decided we wanted to raise funds for her and all the other MACS members and their families.

What did you all get up to in aid of MACS?

We all took on the challenge of a lifetime in entering the South London Tough Mudder 2015! Months of hard training, great efforts in fundraising led to enduring five hours of pain and torture. We were frozen, electrocuted, squashed, soaked, gassed and immersed in tons of cold mud. Everyone made a fantastic effort to complete a gruelling day and proudly wore their MACS shirts throughout to help raise as much awareness as possible

How much do you raise and how?
Pip set up a group Just Giving page, which proved very successful. Team members continuously posted the link, together with a personal story of Florence on our facebook pages.

James, Cheryl and Pip attended a family festival, where we used the MACS balloons, leaflets and flags to raise awareness whilst offering a fun, family activity called inflatable nerfing at a reduced rate.Some team members used the sponsor form within their work place and some used corporate contacts through their business.

£4300.00 was raised with funds still coming in!

How do you feel about winning?
Being voted ‘Fundraisers of the Month’ was just fantastic. All of the team members were absolutely thrilled at the news. What felt like such punishing torture, for us all, was worth every moment. It really did make it all worth it to know the funds raised will be used to enhance the lives of so many.

Do you have any advice for other fundraisers?
Nowadays, so many people attempt to fundraise for so many different causes; it can feel quite demanding and time consuming at times but keep at it. Every penny raised makes a huge difference and raising the awareness of the MACS conditions, is vital for all affected; our loved ones, family and friends.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
Florence and her family would like to thank the members of the MACS Factors for everything they put into this challenge. The harrowing assault course was demanding and harsh but bought together a group of very strong, special people that achieved so much that day in the name of MACS.

Thank you and congratulations to the team!

If you would like to make a donation to The MACS Factors please visit their fundraising page here.

Star Fundraiser of the Month July 2015

Many congratulations to MACS Mum Avene and her team of Warriors on winning Fundraiser of the Month for taking part in Total Warrior Leeds on Saturday 27th June 2015, raising over £2,200!

Who are the Lymm Warriors?

To be a Lymm Warrior is more than just fitness, more than just weight loss it's a 'State of Mind!' Despite the massive individual gains and self discovery associated with being part of our Warrior Club our main ethos is one of community. Warrior Club is a place to meet like-minded people who work with you and sometimes against you (competitively) to encourage and enhance achievements on a new level.  Being a Lymm Warrior is to be supported, to be inspired and to have fun whilst part-taking in one of the biggest journeys of our lives. We are a community, we are a team and our achievements individually and as a group inspire and motivate us to get better. Our team spirit is the magic in the mix and is absolutely essential to the success of Total Warrior 2015.

So, tell us about Total Warrior Leeds...

We faced mud, hills, water, fire, more mud and ice and we were certainly put through our paces on this most gruelling of courses.  We conquered obstacles including Human BBQ, The Shocker, The Plunge, You Tube, Worm Muncher and Hang Tough (to name a few). Our team of 35 Lymm Warriors dedicated weeks to training for the course to ensure we were strong and fit enough to make it through. Our team completed the event in just under 3 1/2 hours!

That’s a big team! What motivated you all to fundraise for MACS?

My daughter Tilly Monks was born 17th May 2010 with Tracheo-Oesophageal Fistula (TOF) a rare congenital condition that affects one in every 3,500 babies and is when a baby is born with a conjoined windpipe and esophagus. For Tilly, the condition dictated that she had to be transferred immediately to intensive care at Alder Hey Children's hospital and within 24 hours she had undergone major surgery to separate her esophagus from her windpipe, then had both ends of her esophagus connected. For many TOF children they are born with other conditions and Tilly was also born with left microphthalmos with persistent hyperplastic primary vitreous and left colobomas with congenital retinal folds. Tilly has been wearing a prosthesis since she was 18 months old and will continue to do so for the rest of her life. 

Total Warrior is about setting personal challenges but its also a great way to raise money for charities.  I've been extremely passionate about raising money for charities that are associated with my daughters conditions. As a parent of a child born with serious conditions that can be debilitating, you are only too aware of the everyday challenges that they need to overcome.  I'm motivated to raise money that will help make a difference to other children's lives.

I received a really positive response from my team members when I suggested we raise money for MACS. The Warrior Club has a great team spirit and most team members were aware of Tilly's condition so motivation wasn't a problem and everyone was all fired up and ready to take on the 8 mile mud and obstacle challenge.  Fundraising wasn't difficult at all as we promoted our cause via Facebook, in addition to requesting donations from family and friends.  

How do you feel about winning Fundraiser of the Month?

Winning Fundraiser of the Month is something that I'll always remember and am truly grateful to be recognised in this way. Crossing the Total Warrior finish line with 34 other team members that have faced the same gruelling obstacles as you is a fantastic feeling, however, winning Fundraiser of the Month surpasses even that. I am overwhelmed with emotion and so proud of my fellow Warriors.

Is Tilly proud of her mum and the team?

Tilly regularly joins me at my training sessions and thinks Mummy running around in the mud and jumping over burning fires is just the norm!  I'm sure when she's older she'll be proud of me and have a better understanding of why I have so much passion and drive to raise money for her associated charities. 

Do you have any advice for other fundraisers?

The best way to raise money for charity is by doing something fun and that you enjoy. Participating in an event with a group of friends to overcome a personal goal makes the event even more memorable and the more people that participate the more money you can raise. Be passionate about what you are doing and give it 110% - raising money to help make a difference is an amazing feeling.

You can visit their fundraising page and make a donation here: https://www.justgiving.com/lymmwarriorhq

Thanks to the Warriors for supporting MACS!

Star Fundraiser of the Month May 2015

Congratulations to the 3 MACSkateers (Simon, Judy and Carly) on being voted as MACS’ Fundraiser of the Month team! This intrepid trio ran together at the London Marathon and managed to raise £4,261 in aid of MACS. They followed their training plan to the letter and it paid off with all three of them running an incredible marathon in 4 hours 33 minutes!

 

Can you tell us what you have been up to for MACS?

We all ran the Virgin London marathon. This was Judy's and Carly's first and Simon’s 12th marathon. Some sponsorship was generated through the traditional methods and our friend Viv, co-runs JDV fitness also suggested that we hold a mass tabata boxercise session, to include a raffle, with all proceeds going to MACS. A host of prizes was secured from local businesses, restaurants and retail outlets. Young MACS member George Croft also came to the event with his mum to draw the prize winners which was a great help.

What motivated you to fundraise for MACS?

Simon has run for MACS in the past and was so impressed by the support and resources offered to children and their families that he encouraged the team to opt for MACS as their chosen charity. We all said was that when the going was getting tough, we thought of the MACS kids and families and that was the best boost ever.

When we started fundraising and asking around for sponsorship it became very clear to us that few people had heard of the charity or knew that the condition existed. This spurred us on to tell as many people that we could about MACS.

How do you feel about winning FOTM?

We are so proud and honoured to win Fundraiser of the Month and that we could make a contribution so such lovely families and children and help to put MACS on the radar for others.

Do you have any advice for other fundraisers?

Think of a crazy or fun challenge to do for charity, like a quiz night, fancy dress exercise class or even running in a supermarket and then get people on board with the idea!

Is there anything else you would like to add?

It was a privilege to run for MACS; we loved it.  The support and friendliness was boundless and we hope that we can continue to be honorary members of the MACS family. Simon has already signed up to run the 2016 Brighton Marathon!

Thank you so much to the 3MACSkateers for all their efforts!

You can visit their fundraising page and make a donation here:

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/The3MACSkateers

Star Fundraiser of the Month April 2015

Congratulations Jodie Eaton on being MACS Fundraiser of the Month! Can you tell us what you’ve been up to for MACS? I am lucky enough to work in a very supportive school as a Drama Teacher and have used this as a platform to raise money for MACS. When I returned from maternity leave and told people about my daughters condition (Aurora has Microphthalmia), both students and staff rallied behind me to help raise money for MACS. I put together a variety show called “All Eyes On You” that involved staff and students performing a range of acts (I even got up there and sang myself!) I also organised a charity auction which included signed memorabilia from television shows and celebrities and a raffle. The night was extra special as I got to meet the Ingelby family and invite my guest of honour Evan, who is also a MACS child. The students were amazing and we were very kindly donated staging and lights from a local theatre company to make the event special. I have also just run the London Marathon and in total have raised over £3000 for MACS.

What has motivated you to fundraise for MACS?

Originally my inspiration was my little princess Aurora. MACS has given our family so much, in terms of support, encouragement and knowledge in coming to terms with Aurora’s condition. I have met and spoken to so many amazing MACS parents and seen so many wonderfully inspiring photos of children who like mine have a MACS condition. Going forward I am excited that our family is now a MACS family and will benefit from the wonderful work they do. Laura Pritchett (who’s gorgeous daughter Daisy is a MACS child) once commented that Daisy has “MACS siblings”. This struck such a chord with me and then it was not really just about Aurora, but about all the wonderful children and their parents that are a part of MACS. It is so humbling to see many of the “Siblings” and how much fight and spirit they have! I am proud to be a part of and raise money for MACS.

How did you come up with this idea?

Returning from maternity leave was hard, all I wanted to do was to be at home with my beautiful girls. Going back and starting this idea gave me something to work towards and allowed me to see just how wonderful the people I worked with all are.

How do you feel about winning Fundraiser of the Month?

I can’t actually believe I was nominated let alone won it! I can’t thank Sam Ingelby enough for the nomination – it was wonderful to meet their family and to have had another MACS family being represented at the event. Seeing little Evan dancing to Uptown funk really made my day. It’s such a lovely thing to have won, it’s not like winning a prize, it’s just like a thank you and that means so very, very much.  

Do you have any advice for other fundraisers?

Keep pushing your online giving pages and have a photo of someone or something that inspires you to do that little bit extra! I spoke to so many people about their reasons and inspirations for running the VMLM that I spent half the route in tears! “We can’t help everyone. But everyone can help someone”.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I can’t thank MACS enough for everything. Every little word of encouragement and support has meant the world to us!

A child is like a butterfly in the wind,
Some can fly higher than others;
but each one flies the best it can.
Why compare one against the other?

Each one is different!
Each one is special!
Each one is beautiful!

Thank you and congratulations to Jodie!

You can also donate to Jodie's fundraising page here:  http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JodieEaton

 

Star Fundraiser of the Month March 2015

Congratulations Fiona and Robbie on being MACS Fundraiser of the Month! First of all can you tell us where you are at the moment, and what you’ve been up to for MACS? Thank you so much! At the moment we're in Kathmandu relaxing and recovering after a spending a month trekking in Nepal. As a fundraiser for MACS we trekked from Shivalaya, a small village in the foothills of the Nepalese Himalayas, to the Base Camp of Mount Everest. Our journey was roughly 250km in distance, and took us (a very slow) 30 days to complete. Between the altitude, the unseasonal high levels of snow with temperatures plunging as low as -29 and the pair of us being fairly unfit it turned out to be hugely challenging!

What has motivated you to fundraise for MACS?
Our niece, the beautiful little Fern, was born missing her left eye. Seeing the bravery and good grace in with which she copes with her difficulties has amazed us and made us hugely proud. Since her arrival, my sister and her husband have found MACS to be a great source of both support and friendship. Being in contact with others who can understand and empathise with their difficulties has proved comforting, not only to Fern's parents, but also to our wider family circle. 

We took Fern's doll Polly (also left eye Anophthalmia) along for the journey. Initially, we simply wanted to take pictures of her on route to show Fern when she's a little older but by the time the trek got tough she served as a great reminder as to why we were putting ourselves through it! Admittedly there were a few injuries, sleepless nights and tears (Fiona's) along the way but if Fern can sail through surgeries/hospital procedures without undue trauma or fuss we could be cold, climb a hill and gratefully take people's generous donations without too many problems. 

How did you come up with this idea?
By process of elimination! We knew that we wanted to do something but we were unsure as to what exactly we should do. We (very briefly!) flirted with the idea of a run but decided Fern would be better off with a functioning Auntie and Uncle rather us half killing ourselves in a marathon or a Tough Mudder event! We're going to visit India next month anyway so we figured that seeing as we're in the area we might try a trek! Everest Base Camp seemed like the obvious choice. The majority of people trekking in the region fly to Lukla and walk from there but we chose to walk from Shivalaya (8 days from Lukla). It partly made for a greater challenge and partly served as a bit of a pilgrimage along the same trail Hillary and Tenzing travelled down on their way to making the first ascent of Mount Everest! 

How do you feel about winning?
We're both enormously touched to be Fundraisers of the Month! From the moment we announced our plans and opened our fundraising page, we have be absolutely staggered by the generosity and kindness we've been shown with over £1800 raised so far. We couldn't have dreamed of a better response. Our new title rounds off our fundraising experience perfectly. 

Do you have any advice for other fundraisers?
Be brave and try to enjoy it! We were massively nervous about our challenge, hugely worried about it being too ambitious and disappointing our sponsors by failing to reach base camp. In the end we made it and the sheer delight, relief and gratitude we felt when we arrived was overwhelming. What started as us trying to do something kind for Fern ended up turning into something we'll thank her for in years to come. We're very grateful as our whole journey was amazing. It took us to the most beautiful places we've ever seen. It has been a pleasure to fundraise for MACS! 

You can also donate to Fiona and Robbie's fundraising page here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=robbieandfi

 

Star Fundraiser of the Month February 2015

Congratulations to Tonya McLaughlan who has devised a great way of helping her husband Martin to achieve his fundraising target for the Virgin Money London Marathon which he is running for MACS in April 2015. Tonya says: “I entered the MACS Fundraiser of the Month competition because we have managed to raise a brilliant amount towards my husband’s fundraising for London 2015; £700! “It feels good to be raising funds for the charity but at the same time encouraging others to get out there and run or walk. After all, we all love to get a bit of bling as a reward for our runs don't we?”

How does your scheme work?
We organised a virtual 5k and 10k run, promoting it with friends and family and on Facebook. We asked people to sign up, complete a run or walk of the right distance, post a photo of their running app, or themselves, as proof and then donate £10 to Martin’s fundraising page. Once they had done so, they received a medal purchased by us!

How did you come up with this idea?
I had seen the idea done before, but not for charity. We bought 70 medals and just thought we’d give it a go and see how it went. In the space of February alone we had 70 people sign up which is amazing! It’s a great start to our fundraising.

Why did Martin choose to run for MACS?
Martin runs the marathon every year and always tries to support smaller charities that are not so well supported and are ones that touch him in some way.

How are you finding it being part of Team MACS?
It’s great and the MACS Team and Supporters page on Facebook really makes you feel that you are not alone and part of the community.

How do you feel about winning?

I feel chuffed to win and am quite emotional about it. The response from my amazing friends and family, my running club, members of Team MACS and others was overwhelming. The support for the idea has blown me away. You don’t do these things for the praise, but when people give positive feedback it is really heart-warming and makes you feel great.

Have you got any other fundraising ideas?
Yes, we are now thinking about organising a casino or horse racing night.

Congratulations Tonya!

You can find out more about Tonya's virtual run scheme here: https://www.facebook.com/events/401927216646800

You can also donate to Martin's London Marathon fundraising here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=macsrunning

 

Star Fundraiser of the Month January 2015

Congratulations Alice Garcia and Michael Williams!. Please tell our readers what you’ve been up to this month. We invited our friends and family to donate a pound a week to play the bonus ball! They pick a number between 1-49 and whichever number is picked for the bonus ball on the Saturday lottery wins £20 and the rest goes towards our fundraising! So far that has raised £360. We also had a very successful bake sale at Alice's school in Cheltenham which raised a massive £200. A further £200 has also been donated through our sponsor forms and Virgin Money Giving page.

How did you come up with the bonus ball idea and how have you managed to keep track of the participants?

The bonus ball fundraiser is a scheme we heard about through Alice's dad. It was fairly easy to get people to take part in the scheme as they can actually win something back!  It's also fairly easy to keep track of by printing out a table with numbers 1-49 on it and writing in peoples' names next to their chosen number. After their name you have the amount of weeks you are running it for, in our case 15 weeks. Then simply tick the week if they give you the money and leave it blank if they haven't paid. The prize money depends completely on the amount of people playing. If it lands on a number that hasn't been chosen then it’s a rollover to the next week!How did you approach the school? Any tips on doing this for fellow fundraisers?

We were lucky with the school as Alice is a teacher and her mum also works there. The cake sale was organised and we basically made as many cakes as possible and asked as many of our friends to do the same! It’s about approaching the right people in the school which would be the head teacher and head of fundraising. You could do this at any place of work as everyone loves cake!

Do you have any other activities planned?

Our next fundraising venture is a skittles night at a local club in Cheltenham that we can use for free. We're going to play a game called killer which will be a pound to play and we'll invite as many family and friends as possible. We're also going to run a raffle whilst we've got a lot of people there!   

These are great ideas! Thank you and well done!

Read about the Fundraiser of the Month for January, FebruaryMarchAprilMay, June, July, August, SeptemberOctober November and December here.

If you would like to submit an entry to be Fundraiser of the Month, please email fundraising@macs.org.uk

 

Star Fundraiser of the Month December 2014

Our Fundraiser of the Month for December 2014 is…. Carol McKenzie! Carol is running the 2015 Virgin Money London Marathon and raising money for MACS. Carol, please tell our readers what you’ve been up to. In December I raised £424.00 by putting together and selling Christmas Hampers (another £264 will be donated by my company’s Employee Giving Scheme). Two of the hampers were raffled off at work and one at my son’s football training sessions. I purchased the hampers from ebay at just under £5 each. The football hamper was funded by one of the football managers and the other two hampers were funded by my Tesco’s Club Card Vouchers and donations from friends and family.

 

One of my fellow Boot Camper friends suggested that a group of us did a couple of hours Carol singing and collecting at our local Tesco. She arranged the date and time with the manager at the store and all was arranged for the Saturday before Christmas. In 2 hours we raised £250.00, split between the three of us.  

I am chuffed with my fundraising so far and overwhelmed by the generosity of friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances. I am up to approximately £1100 which is amazing. I had wanted to get to half way by end of the year just to feel confident in reaching my overall goal.

What other events are you planning?

I am running two fundraising events in 2015. On 30th January I am holding a quiz night with a fellow MACS runner. I am fortunate enough to be close friends with owners of the Sausage Shop so am getting food at cost price. We should come away with £300 each from ticket sales and raffle. The second event is an Indian Elvis Night on 20th February and we hope to raise £500 in total.

For these two events I have been busy collecting raffle prizes which include:

Kids’ day out vouchers for Old MacDonalds Farm in Brentwood Essex
Afternoon Tea at Down Hall Country House Hotel (Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire)
Sausage Shop Voucher
2 flower arrangements (to be picked up on the day)
Family Portrait Vouchers x 2
Harlow Town Football Club family Match Day ticket (Local football Team)
Bottles of wine and spirits, chocolates etc. donated by friends
2 passes to Nuclear Rush (Mud assault course in Brentwood Essex)

That’s fantastic! How did you manage to secure so many prizes?

I emailed a number of companies asking for donations. A friend of mine convinced me there was nothing to lose by doing this, just the time drafting the emails. The response has been amazing. Companies are so generous, I feel quite overwhelmed. Other prizes have been obtained by walking into restaurants/ florists etc. asking if they would be happy to donate; as the two events are local and the businesses are local they were more than happy to help.

Do you have any advice for other fundraisers?

If you don’t ask you don’t get. I was nervous about asking people for donations but have been delighted with the response. You just need to be assertive not pushy and approach the right companies for prizes. Local shops, especially independent shops, are more than happy to donate to a local event or local charity. Also ask friends for recommendations of companies to approach, it is sometimes who you know not just what you know.

Thank you Carol and well done!