The CLAN 1,2,3 charity appeal has broken through the £250,000 barrier.
Funds have been pouring in at the rate of more than £1,000 per day since the appeal to build a new cancer centre in Aberdeen was lauched at the end of July last year, 241 days ago.
The breakthrough in the push for one charity to take two years to raise £3 million was announced on Wednesday morning after contributions from various events and private donations were banked.
CLAN committee chairwoman Elaine Jamieson said everyone in Shetland should feel very proud of their efforts. There was a “shared sense of responsibility” she said, and a feeling of “shared ownership” of the CLAN complex, which offers alternative therapies and accommodation to cancer patients (and carers) while in Aberdeen.
“There is a willingness to help others,” Mrs Jamieson said. “Unfortunately no-one knows who’ll be next.”
Two events in the isles at the weekend have helped swell CLAN’s coffers. A fund-raising Wii Night was held by the two-pupil Fetlar Primary School on Saturday. Thirty people, more than half the population of the isle, came to play on the giant screen at the school. It was evidently an evening of great hilarity as inexperienced people had a go on the Wii games console, playing games like darts and tennis and more war-like ones involving tanks (and managing to blow themselves up in the process). Other sideshows such as guess the weight of the (real life) baby were on offer, as well as raffles and homebakes.
The evening produced £360, doubling the money the school’s two pupils (both boys, one in primary six and one in primary seven) have now raised for CLAN. The boys recently pulled in an amount of £360 by selling calendars and nursery children’s books written by themselves. They presented a cheque with the grand total of £720 to a committee member at the Town Hall on Tuesday.
Principal teacher Paul Gill said he was “astounded” by the amount the small community could raise, and North Isles councillor Laura Baisley added: “Fetlar Primary is a very innovative school and this shows how a small community with a small school can make a difference. These children individually must feel very special.”
CLAN committee member, former Fetlar pupil and councillor for Shetland Central Andrew Hughson said: “I applaud Tom and Ellis for showing tremendous initiative to collect such a huge sum.
“Their enterprising spirit, and consideration for others, is an example for others to aspire to. With this type of spirit in the community, I am sure Fetlar has a brighter future to look forward to.”
Also on Saturday 19 couples registered to take part in a Bullseye competition, based on the popular television programme, organised by Iris Anderson in the Whalsay Boating Club.
The elimination round started at 7.30pm, where the contestants were whittled down to a final three couples – John Eunson with Eleanor Irvine, Johnny Simpson with Marcia Pearson and Nick Nico with Ann-Marie Smith. The winners were Johnny and Marcia and the evening was enjoyed immensely by nearly 60 spectators, with £608.50 raised for the appeal.
The charity has been boosted hugely by the CLAN shop in the Toll Clock Shopping Centre, which to date has contributed £41,866. Another significant donation, of more than £25,000, came from the corporate dinners and raffle held at the Shetland Hotel in February,when tables were sold to local businesses.
Shetland has a history of giving generously to charitable causes, dating back to a donation given to Orkney in the wake of the Longhope lifeboat disaster 40 years ago.
In recent years Shetlanders have contributed outstanding amounts to the Children in Need appeal, and two years ago raised a specatcular sum for the CT scanner.