Guests at the Loving Hearts Raffle and Gala Dinner organised by Middlesbrough Erimus Rotary Club in aid of the South Cleveland Heart Fund. From the left Dr Adrian Davies, Derek Slack, Patricia Bingham (winner of the Skoda Citigo car) , Trevor Atkinson Middlesbrough Erimus Rotary Club, Mike Overy and Mrs Linda Slack.
A gala dinner and raffle has raised more than £75,000 for a vital heart charity.
The Loving Hearts Raffle and Gala Dinner was organised by Middlesbrough Erimus Rotary Club in aid of the South Cleveland Heart Fund (SCHF) in order to raise money to upgrade the two MRI scanners at James Cook University Hospital.
Since it was founded in 1994 by Dr Adrian Davies, the SCHF has been dedicated to keeping the heart unit James Cook University Hospital at the leading edge of cardiac medicine.
In its biggest appeal yet, the charity, which helps to support the heart unit at James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, needs to raise £1m to keep the centre at the forefront of cardiac medicine.
It plans to upgrade an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scanner and replace another at the hospital.
The Middlesbrough Erimus Rotary Club picked the SCHF as its selected charity for 2015 and have made a huge contribution to the fund with its gala night and raffle, raising more than £75,000 since the beginning of the year.
The top prizes at the Loving Hearts Raffle and Gala Dinner at the Thistle Hotel, Middlesbrough, on Saturday night, included a Skoda Citigo car, a home cinema system, a stay and a meal at Crathorne Hall, family days out and a “money can’t buy” opportunity to name an Eddie Stobart truck.
Derek Slack presenting the first prize winner with her new car keys
Trevor Atkinson, president of Middlesbrough Erimus Rotary Club said: “Many other Rotary clubs have run annual events in their towns and this year have given all, or at least half of their profits to us for the Scanner Appeal. Our very grateful thanks go out to you and your communities for contributing a significant amount in support of this.
“It would be remiss of me not to thank all my own Rotary club members for their unstinting efforts, but particularly to Mike Overy and his small team.”
Mike Overy, project manager for the Loving Hearts Raffle and Gala Dinner, said: “We see this as a richly deserved testament to the work and dedication of Dr Adrian Davies and his many colleagues who have given such great commitment to the Cardio Unit since its opening at James Cook in 1992.
“With their help we are hoping that the total sum raised will be approaching £80,000. We are extremely grateful to all who have contributed.”
Thanking the support of the Middlesbrough Erimus Rotary Club Dr Davies said: “A huge vote of thanks to the Rotary Clubs of the Heart Unit catchment population, led by Middlesbrough Erimus in making the Loving Hearts fantastic prize draw an amazing success, raising this enormous amount for our Cardiac MRI Appeal.
“This has taken the Appeal amount to well over the £600,000 mark. Hard work and amazing enthusiasm in raising the Raffle Prizes have made this such a success, and I and the South Cleveland Heart Fund are very grateful for this huge boost. Particular mention must be made of Derek Slack Motors who donated the first prize of the car.
“Thanks to this boost we are now well on the way to achieving our aim in assisting the Trust in getting the vital cardiac MRI scanning up to where it needs to be to keep our Excellent Regional Cardiothoracic Centre at the top level, and to solve potential recruitment, retention and training issues.
“This underlines what an amazing organisation Rotary is, with professional people raising money to help people at home and abroad.”