Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Another guest blog - Elvis speaks !

Elvis suits on and we’ re ready to rock,
Spirits are high so start the clock.

Ambleside’ s glorious but here comes the rain,
10 miles in and already there’ s pain.

Old stories and banter help us along,
But legs start to tire; we’ ve got to stay strong.

A sit down in Kendal, for a much needed snack,
Then on through the towns, we’ re still on track.

Last push to Ingleton, boy this is tough,
We’ ve made it halfway, but we’ re all feeling rough.

A couple of pints and a bite to eat,
Then back to the room to tend to our feet.

Blisters are big and have started to weep,
Now patched up with plasters, we need a good sleep.

Alarm goes at six; we need to get going,
30 miles left and the tiredness is showing.

Motivational messages keep buzzing through,
And support from the locals is too good to be true.

We’ re on the canal, 10 miles and we’ re there,
It’ s boggy and rough but now we don’ t care.

Round the last bend and everyone’ s cheering
Fireworks go off, “ Let’ s get the beer in” .

Hugs and kisses from those that we greet,
Five pals from Silsden have pulled off this feat

63 miles, that’ s what we did,
High-Fives from Evan, that was for you kid!

Jamie Cunningham

Sunday, 24 October 2010

We're caught in a trap...

Yesterday was an awesome day to report on. It started at 9am (well, for us - the Elvii had been on the road since early morning) with Evan shouting "Ready, steady, go!" and approx 30 kids and parents, mainly from Silsden schools, set off from Silsden - headed to Skipton. I took Evan by car to meeting points at Kildwick, Cononley, Bradley, Snaygill and then finally at Skipton where we had some very kindly provided, and very well earned, free chips! (thanks!).

We then headed up to Gargrave to meet up with the Elvises (not sure of the proper plural of Elvis). Evan provided "high-5s" and hopefully inspiration for the final push and then Grandad Silsden took him home. I then stuck with them to try and provide support, not to mention Red Bull. 

I was only there for the last couple of hours but seeing the reaction on the roads was brilliant. Every beep of a passing horn or someone smiling from a barge seemed to provide a little shot of adrenalin. As we headed past local landmarks (Farnhill pinnacle, White Lion, Jackson's Bridge, Allotments, Youth club field) we knew we were nearly home and, as darkness fell, the last mile was completed in moonlight.

I saw first hand how much effort these guys put in and at points you could see that every single step was hurting them so so much. However, once we could see the bridge they got their last wind and the Elvises did what they do best (well...) and they strode home to a chorus of Suspicious Minds. Which was soon, thankfully, replaced by a cacophony of cheering and fireworks. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBmAPYkPeYU

The atmosphere in the pub afternoon summed up the day - a great community effort and something which makes us feel very proud to be a part of. 

Friday, 22 October 2010

Guest blog from Evan's Mum - Big Update

Firstly, a MASSIVE, MASSIVE, thank you to everyone who has supported Evan's Big Journey so far.  Your help and support is mindblowing and we never ever thought we'd reach this point so quickly. When we started off back in July, we launched our campaign with a minimum target of 45k which, at the time, we'd estimated would cover the op, accommodation and flights.  A little further down the line, the hospital in St Louis advised that Evan would also benefit from a further operation to lengthen his heel cords, this would increase the benefits of the SDR surgery but comes with an extra cost and hostpital stay (within the month we will be there).  He also has a program of physio to follow for over a year following the op and with the NHS cuts, we will need to go private to get this (we obviously do what we can every day but we're not trained to teach someone to walk!).  So, I guess what I'm saying is that although we've reached our original 45k target which is amazing, we need to keep going.  Please continue to support our remaining events (as they're all fantastic events, fundraising or not!) to try and pay for all the additional costs and any hidden extras that crop up along the way.  Rest assured, we will not spend a single penny that isn't required to give Evan the best out of this once in a lifetime opportunity and whatever is left will be passed onto another child desperate for this wonderful operation.

Monday, 11 October 2010

The day after the day after the night before...

Two days ago (as I write this) we were just tucking into our starters at the beginning of one of the biggest and best nights that I, and many people we have spoken to since, can remember. On top of that, 10 hours previously I was in the midst of quite possibly one of the best ever attended Coffee Mornings that Silsden has ever seen. 

I have been thinking what to write and I simply cant put down in words how it felt to be at both those events. The coffee morning was simply stupendous - shoulder to shoulder. A massive and truly fantastic COMMUNITY event. We try not to single people out as there are so many people working behind the scenes who we couldn't do all of this without, but in this instance we really need to mention Katy who was the driving force of this - very ably assisted by the incomparable Yummy Mummies (and assorted other helpers). People were literally queueing up to get in and then looking round and saying "I cant believe there are so many people here". 

After a mad dash around in the afternoon, the ball was upon us. Final touches and flourishes were applied as bedecked and bejewelled members of "Team Evan" (an ever growing team - everyone welcome) congregated for our show-piece event. Without doubt the star of the show was Evan himself, who made a cameo appearance before being whisked off back to bed, at the end of a very busy day for him. 

The rest of the evening is a whirl - a pretty lady did a speech, some guy managed to get the video to play, another guy held it all together perfectly while another guy watched on what has been a massive effort on his part. People joined in, had a laugh, fell asleep, fell over, made new friends, renewed old friends, danced (even me!), drank, and generally partied and partied and partied. As someone said, "It was like a really good wedding do". Oh yes, and we raised a shed-load of money in the process - but at the time, it just didnt feel like it was the main reason we were there ~ which is what we wanted to aim for. 

It's a cliche, but there was so much "love in the room". I just wish we could go back and bottle it ! 

Monday, 4 October 2010

A Big Week on our Big Journey

Things are going great, if not a bit "hell for leather" right now. So, a mad-dash update - as best I can. We crashed through the £30k barrier last week - which was £10k in just 8 days. However, a lot of that was money from the ball tickets - so was a definite spike. Still need to keep going to get that last quarter. Crikey, we are down to the last quarter - so far, so quickly... awesome!

On Saturday we attended "Buster's Bash" which was fantastic - not just because the guys are helping to fundraise - but because it was a great, great, night. Met some brilliant people. Hope we can make it next year! On Sunday, the Yummy Mummies (assisted by Loup, Maya & Evan) did a bag pack at the Co-op in Silsden. Today (Monday) was the first day of "Week of Evan" at work, we had a very successful tombola and planned for the ducking stool tomorrow. The finale is the dress down day on Friday. Then, of course, it's "EVAN'S BIG BALL" on Saturday (tickets only available for 24 hours now....) and if that wasnt enough it's "KATY'S COFFEE MORNING" in the morning. St James' church. (on a personal note, we also need to get Maya to a tap show recital in the middle of all that!)

If you want a ticket to the ball, there is still time. Meal, Auction, Entertainment and DJ - plus Evan will be there as well (at the start - form an orderly queue.... ). If you are in the area, please pop into the Coffee morning. It's building up to be a massive event. Get there early - fetch the kids, fetch your gran, but fetch your wallet. Come on - once we have raised the money (and hopefully had fun in the meantime) we can then leave you alone and we can all go back to having a normal, boring life. What will we all do with our time once this is all over....

See you Saturday ?