By Bill Leckie
Anyone connected with The Mary Leishman Foundation can say is...has it been a year already?
It only seems like yesterday that we were basking in the astonishing hospitality of our Spain's hosts as our fundraising efforts took on a continental flavour. We reckoned we were taking a risk in organising a golf weekend in another country. Our fears were allayed the moment the plane touched down.
Twelve months on, everyone involved in last year's Golf For Mary event still talks about what an amazing weekend it was – and the truth is that we were barely back home in not-so-sunny Scotland before the pleas started coming in to sign up for next time round. There wasn't even any point in the Trustees sitting down to decide if we should give it a go again. The reaction of everyone who took part made our minds up for us, so, here we go again, heading back for another fun-packed few days of sport, friendship and charity that no one involved will ever forget.
Mary was a terrific woman, a singer, an actress, everyone's favourite 'hostess with the mostest'. She was a wonderful mum to Kate and Jamie and a devoted wife to Jim, one of Scottish football's favourite characters.
Back in February 2009, we lost her, a victim of the vicious swine that is cancer. It was a shattering blow to all who knew and loved her and the best way any of us could think to keep her memory alive was to set up a charity in her name. The aim of the Foundation from day one was two-fold: To ease suffering and encourage potential. It's a motto that has helped us help so many, not only in Jim and Mary's home town of Dunfermline but all across Scotland.
We've had two glitzy dinner-dances tagged The Ball For Mary, two Celebrity Football Games we call The Match For Mary and now we're ready for the second staging of Golf For Mary.
It's ALL for Mary!
The support given to her family over the past two years had been quite incredible. Emotionally, it's helped them cope with a death that could have made them cave.
Sometimes we have to pinch ourselves when we look at a fundraising running total of £350,000. It just doesn't seem real, this huge amount of money out of a chat between grieving friends. The generosity we receive never ceases to amaze us. Take last year's golf – we set out thinking we might be lucky to break even, but in the end we cleared a fantastic €15,000! That's down to all of you, our friends in España. You opened you hearts, your doors and – yes – your wallets to us last May and we hope this year you can find a space for us again.
The Celebrity Golf Day on Sat 28th May is being hosted for the second year at the beautiful La Peraleja Golf Sucina and is open to all. Like last time, we've been taken aback by the response from celebrities we've asked to take part. Nothing is too much trouble for these guys and their contribution to the enjoyment of so many others is tribute to what Jim Leishman means to them. This year's crop include:
European Cup-winning Liverpool pair David Johnson and Jimmy Case
Ex-Spurs and Chelsea striker Gordon Durie
1978 World Cup star Joe Harper
Irrepressible ex-Manchester United and Wales' midfielder Mickey Thomas
Former Scotland manager Craig Brown
What a crew THAT is!
The fact is, none of this works without you, the Spanish branch of the Mary Leishman Foundation, so all we can say to you as the bags are packed is...get ready to party all over again.
Tickets for The Celebrity Golf For Mary Evening Event at Spa Hotel, Torre Pacheco on Sat 28th May cost 50€ to include cocktail on arrival followed by a 4 course meal including beer & wine and a night of entertainment 6.15 pm until late.
Mary Leishman Foundation also has a special rate to stay at the Spa Torre Pacheco Hotel on Sat 28th May 75€ per room incl breakfast and late check out.
For tickets or to book accommodation contact Shirley Graham 634 312 512 or email@example.com