Take The Money (Donate It) And Run

Posted on: 16 Feb 2014

So back to the fundraising business. One of my original offerings to CLIC Sargent was to "busk". But I was feeling that I had far too much self respect and inhibitions to actually do that. But a reasonable compromise seemed to be to use my bucket collection slot at Sainsbury's, Weymouth, to play my guitar in public, hopefully in front of a largely friendly clientele,  giving the the good folk of Weymouth the opportunity to donate cash, particulary as Emma, the new public relations contact at Sainsbury's was well "up for it".

I asked my good friend Paul, an accomplished brass player (unlike myself :-( ) if he would be able to do anything, so he brought my unofficial technical adviser Dave along together with their euphoniums (or is it euphonia?).

I set up various tables, posters, balloons, children's sweet bucket, collection buckets, chairs etc in the lobby. It was an extremely windy day and every time one of the automatic doors opened it was very windy, and if the doors at both ends opened at the same time everything took off! I started to strum at 10:00, then at 11:00 the euphonium boys took over. They opened with hymns (click here for youtube clip), but things got a bit surreal when they started playing Christmas carols. And at one point they virtually reduced a Welshman to tears with their rendition of "Myfanwy" (I expect the Ireland / Wales result later in the day completed the job!). Then I took over at 1:00PM and strummed right through to 4:00PM at which point my hands were too frozen to play properly (if indeed I ever do).

I was helped by a few other bucketeers, Pete Philp and Steve and Max Daws, and my best buddy Jon May did some videoing (click here for youtube). Including 12 U.S. Cents, which I swapped for 7p at current exchange rate, we raised a final total of £305.46p. So now my original pledge to raise £2000 is smashed, so I've moved the goalposts to £5k :-)

But that's not all – throwing inhibitions and self respect to the wind - I have, this weekend,  done proper, hard core "street busking" in the town centre. Friday it was chucking it down, and at one point a kind lady gave me a £10 note and told me to "go home". And on Saturday it was the backend of the overnight gale, more cold hands, but in total another £33 was raised :-)

Back to the more mundane, today was my longest ever run, a good 19 miles (no rain, hail or gale – just sun and blue skies), which has certainly increased my confidence for April 13, after which I treated myself (and my principal euphonium player) to an excellent breakfast at the "Sailors Return" – and my beloved Charlton Athletic are still in the F.A. Cup ;-) (match postponed) – not a bad weekend :-)

Keith

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