Organisers of this year’s Relay for Life in aid of Cancer Research UK in Shetland announced today that the final total raised was a remarkable £224,164.
Chairwoman of the organising committee Olive MacLeod said: “We have been absolutely blown away, the response has been so much more than we expected. It is a credit to everyone in the teams who did the fundraising, they should all be very proud of themselves.
“All the feedback we have had has been very positive, it all ran very smoothly, given the number of people, around 1,950, who took part, and there were spectators as well. It was tremendous and everyone said it had been a lovely atmosphere.
“The previous record for a CRUK relay was £121,000 and this is more than £100,000 more.”
Organiser of team recruitment Kerry Eunson said: “We are absolutely delighted [about the money]. We never expected so much in a million years.” The number of teams, 133, was also a UK record, she said.
Looking after the survivors (all 117 of them, another UK record) was Kim Coutts. She said: “It was a wonderful emotional experience. The survivors all thought it was great having a special tent and a champagne reception.” They also got a bottle of champagne and a special CD to take home. So much money was raised that she wonders how it can ever be repeated, she said.
In charge of catering was veteran fund-raiser Ann Moore, who said: “It was a great night, we never stopped all night. We set up tables outside the pavilion and people were grabbing fancies as they ran past and chucking money in the collecting tins, it had to be seen to be believed. Local butchers and stores donated food for the barbecue, everyone was so generous. Even the tea loaves left over were sold off in the morning.
“The total of almost a quarter of a million was unbelievable, Shetlanders are so generous.”
The habit of giving generously has spread to Turiff – their relay has recently raised £135,000 with money still coming in.