Wendy’s thymic fundraiser
Six months of planning Wendy’s charity golf day in aid of research into Thymic tumours was here. Wendy’s Thymic Fundraiser (WTF) Golf Day day was going to be very special and popular. This became apparent after 45 minutes of a few text and e mail messages when 100 of Wendy’s friends and my clients scrambled to be a part of this memorable and emotional day.
I wanted to cover everything which represented “Wendy” so I worked on three surprises for the day. I asked everyone to wear the colour purple (Wendy’s favorite colour)to demonstrate their respect for Wendy. The field all obliged which looked stunning for the group photo and on the course. I invited my child hood hero six time World Champion snooker player Steve Davis to play in addition he kindly donated a signed cue for the auction.
The biggest surprise was Wendy’s close friend and two time Ladies European Tour winner Joanne Mills who flew from Australia to play in the day. I paired Joanne with Steve Davis who were the perfect buggy buddies!
It is not everyday someone touches the hearts of such a group all assembled ready to enjoy a days golf with the purpose of supporting an amazing person. My colleague from my Ladies European Tour playing days Suzanne Dickens attended giving up her time to play 27 shots into the par 3 ninth for the “Beat the Pro” competition which raised valuable funds.
The planning commenced back in November 2017 with Wendy looking at her second Major thoracic surgery early January 2018. The July date would have given her time to recover and to play golf in a buggy with her friends. Unfortunately this was not the case due to the spread of the rare and aggressive Thymic Carcinoma which Wendy is battling.
However the goal of raising awareness and much valuable funding for thymic tumours was something close to my heart, I wanted to gain maximum exposure which pointed to avenues of Radio and TV which I achieved.
Wendy spoke on BBC Essex on the Sadie Nine morning show early July which was the most incredible interview I have ever been privileged to be a part of. Sadie was fighting back the tears, totally astounded by the bravery and courage of Wendy. The gravitas Wendy has upon entering a room is inexplicable coupled with her ability to inspire and motivate. It certainly comes as no surprise she was awarded England Golf Manager of the Year 2017 which was echoed by my U18 England East Region Squad in a video which one player made for the presentation.
Wendy addressing the room
I wanted to bring in a number of aspects to the WTF Golf day, the fun element which included putting to the Prosecco, ThePutt Out challenge with Beat the Pro. The shear determination and strength of Wendy was apparent to all during the played interview during the meal which bought tears to the room. My gratitude goes out to BBC Look East for their filming and airing their piece the same day after the National news.
The Event was played as a team event over 18 holes in searing temperatures of 35 degrees however 240 bottles of water plus enough for our volunteers coupled with Pimms, home made cakes and gifted bananas ensured everyone was well catered for.
The arrival of Wendy’s London Oncologist completed the days schedule with a talk on the disease and why the funding is so important for this very rare chest cancer. I have met Dr Lal a number of times so I took the opportunity to drive him round the course explaining a little about golf, which I have a feeling he has warmed to. This was evident during the auction where he bid for a signed shirt from Luke Donald himself, golf is a very popular sport in the medical world and I am sure Wendy will love nothing more than him to take up the sport.
The finale of any charity day is the evening with the chance to make a difference during the raffles, auction, silent auction and three major prizes consisting of a VIP helicopter trip, Footjoy My Joy Golf Shoes and 4 balls at Ryder Cup venue The Belfry and home of England Golf Woodhall Spa.
The speeches were always going to be the hardest part which was fitting Wendy completed the evening receiving a standing ovation from the packed room.
I am delighted to announce the Golf day and the Virgin Just Giving page has raised just under £18,000 which is outstanding for one event considering our target was £20,000. If you feel you would like to help to reach Wendy’s goal then please click on the link and send her a message which she reads.
The lasting words from many was “What date is the WTF next year” my reply was “I am happy to arrange if you are happy to support, see you all next year”
My Thanks goes out to everyone in the Golf Industry for their kind and generous donations, time and support. To all the volunteers who helped on the day in testing conditions, to the Town crier who drove the auction, to the photographers and DJ Nick. To my friends at Golf Pride who supplied and fitted a free grip to players.
Steve, it was a huge pleasure to meet you it was a real surprise to everyone! to Millsy all the way from Oz and to all our players.
But most importantly, to Wendy our friend who made a huge effort on the day you are amazing as 150 people know. We all hope you enjoyed your day.