Carol Gordon of our Tunbridge Wells, Crowborough & District Branch explains how, although fundraising events don’t always go to plan, Cats Protection volunteers overcome the challenges to raise vital funds…
Cats Protection’s Tunbridge Wells, Crowborough & District Branch recently held a Feline Funday at Uckfield’s Civic Centre. Fortunately for the branch, Kim Woodburn who is a great supporter of Cats Protection, kindly offered to come along and support us on the day. Armed with this brilliant piece of news, we were able to book Uckfield FM to come along on the day and broadcast live by promising them an interview with Kim. But they went even further than that, dedicating their breakfast show on the morning before, to publicising the event!
Kim Woodburn joins the fun
Unfortunately, there were a few hitches – they say these things come in threes and they did. Firstly, we were told that Kim had taken a nasty fall and wouldn’t be able to come. We were desperately disappointed, but by the end of the day she had decided that she was feeling better and would be able to make it after all – what a trooper; we all breathed a sigh of relief!
We spent the previous evening loading up cars and labelling prizes for the chocolate tombola before sitting back with a cup of tea and then came the second blow; the husband of one of our organisers had been taken ill and she was about to take him to A&E. Thankfully he was allowed home again and she turned up in the morning after two hours’ sleep!
Uckfield FM provided live coverage of the event
So the big day arrived. Kim was wonderful, smiling and chatting with everyone. We gave away goody bags, iced cakes, sold plants, refreshments, books and bric-a-brac. Meanwhile, kids guessed the name of the bunny, had their faces painted, had a go at the chocolate tombola and placed their coppers onto Cooper the Copper Cat. Not to be outdone, two giant cats paraded up and down Uckfield High Street with collecting buckets.
Then came the third blow – somebody had collapsed in the High Street and the emergency services had effectively blocked off the town so our numbers dwindled, but we were still happy with the publicity that we had received and the £400 raised.
It is a month to the day since our mascot, Homer, took to the tracks at the brand new Olympic Stadium as part of the Gold Challenge event...
Homer was up against some tough opponents, but had put in the hours of training in the weeks before the big day by doing laps of the nature trail at the National Cat Centre. "What happened next?" We hear you ask. Well, dear readers, watch this recently unearthed footage to find out...
Yes, the plucky puss came in last by a country mile. Poor Homer! It goes without saying that he feels he has let the charity down, but we know that he gave his best and are proud of him for flying the Cats Protection flag at such a prestigious event.
To make him feel better, we have come up with a new initiative: Homer's Heroes. Yes, the fleeting feline has become a CP fundraising ambassador and you can meet him at our next event in a couple of weeks' time.
The Super Hero Run takes place at London's Regents Park on 13 May and is a 5k or 10k jog or walk with the emphasis on fun! As its name suggests, the idea is to dress up as a super hero – costumes are available on signing up. If you sign up by Friday 4 May, you will receive a personalised running vest, a water bottle, a complimentary post-race massage and, best of all, a signed picture of Homer!
Yes, it's soon but why not do something spontaneous while putting the fun into fundraising?!