Rotary cyclathon proves a major charity fundraiser

Sunday 14th August 2016 11:43 am

Ian Sergeant presents a cheque for £6,000 to Frimley Park surgeon Isabella Karat in aid of the hospital’s breast unit

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THE Rotary Club of Farnham has presented cheques for £6,000 each to the Frimley Park Hospital Breast Unit and Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice following its successful Cyclathon earlier this year at Farnham Maltings.

The two charities were chosen by Rotary president Ian Sargeant as his twin charities of the year. A total exceeding £12,000 had been raised and, with some funds still awaited, each charity has been given £6,000 with the possibility of some more at a later date.

This, together with other events such as the golf day for Phyllis Tuckwell held at Hankley Common Golf Club and the traditional street collections, means the total amount raised by the club for local charities during the year has exceeded £27,000.

The first Cyclathon cheque was presented to Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice’s chief executive Sarah Brocklebank at the club’s President’s Dinner held this year at Waverley Abbey House.

The dinner was a suitable climax to Mr Sargeant’s outstanding year as president of the Rotary Club of Farnham. His fellow presidents Peter Sauter of the Rotary Club of Farnham Weyside and Corinne Alford of the Inner Wheel of Farnham also attended the event to celebrate a year of working more closely together to support the community of Farnham.

Robin Crawford, a past president of the club, gave an excellent talk on the history of Waverley Abbey House against the background of billowing smoke from its latest role as a film set for a major new production.

The second cheque was awarded to Isabella Karat, a surgeon at Frimley Park, during a special dinner at the Blacknest Golf and Country Club near Bentley.

Mr Sergeant said the club was pleased to have the opportunity to thank surgeons such as Mrs Karat for the wonderful work they carry out. Nearly everyone would have some contact with breast cancer, either directly or indirectly through those they knew and loved.

Mrs Karat spoke warmly of the Cyclathon event in February – she had been present for several hours and witnessed the effort and excitement as teams came and went during the day.

The new unit at Frimley Park was nearly complete and, thanks to all the fundraising that had taken place, would include some new equipment that gave a much more accurate diagnosis of cancer greatly improving the success and efficiency of the department.

Continuing the theme, there was then a concert in the club lounge delivered by the Kindred Spirits Choir under the baton of their conductor Steve Petch. The choir is composed entirely of ladies who have all been treated for breast cancer.

The excellence of the performance, the enjoyment of the singers and the amusing content of the programme all demonstrated that music can be a wonderful therapy.

• Plans for a repeat Cyclathon next year on Saturday, February 25, are already in hand with the venue again at the Maltings.

Teams interested in participating may pre-register for the event by emailing this year’s president of the Rotary Club of Farnham, George Alford, on georgeal

Some interest has been expressed in arranging competitions within the overall event, for example for schools, parents, local businesses or charities and expressions of interest in these are also welcome.

Proceeds will once again be divided between Phyllis Tuckwell and other local charities supported by the Rotary Club of Farnham.

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