The Isle of Lewis committee of Cancer Research UK had a moment of pure astonishment at their Annual General Meeting last night (Tuesday February 12th).

Treasurer Norman Macdonald had kept the whole committee in the dark about the total amount they had raised over the past 12 months – which turned out to be a staggering £88,203, almost £14,000 more than the previous year.

Committee chair Amy Macaulay told today (Wednesday February 13th). “Norman had told us that the total figure was higher than last year, but when he handed round the treasurer’s accounts you could hear each member of the committee saying ‘Wow!’ as they read the year’s total.

“It’s the culmination of a lot of hard work by a lot of people, but we also all feel it’s a tribute to our late chairwoman Kay Mackay, who passed away one year ago, on February 4th 2018.”

Kay’s death came just a few weeks after she was awarded the MBE in recognition of 35 years of ‘inspirational’ leadership and dedication to the cause of fundraising for Cancer Research.

The year that has followed has been bitter-sweet for the committee, as their events and campaign activities continued to go from strength to strength. The celebrated Ladies’ Lunch alone raised £24,000 – up by more than £7,500 on the previous year’s total.

Amy said: “When we lost Kay, we obviously felt it would make a huge difference, but we were determined to continue with the work and to do as well as we could. She gets mentioned by many people at every event that we hold and the Ladies’ Lunch, especially, was a real tribute to her.

“We will never forget the work she has done and, as this was our first AGM since she passed away, I would like to think she would be very happy about the result.”

Amy paid tribute to all of those who support the committee in their fundraising – helping out at bag packs and the door-to-door collection and running their own events to raise funds for Cancer Research.

“The community comes together as one to carry on this work. People of all ages, abilities and interests support us. So many people give their time to run events to raise funds for us and we all have one aim – to raise as much money as we can for Cancer Research. That’s what keeps us going.”

The next two fundraising events for the Cancer Research Isle of Lewis Committee are a soup and pudding light lunch at the M A Macleod Memorial Hall on Saturday February 23rd and a tea party at Stornoway Town Hall on March 16th.

The picture shows Stornoway Playgroup pupils on a sponsored walk on World Cancer Day, February 4th, this year. (Isle of Lewis Committee Cancer Research UK).