We arrived at Stratford on Avon racecourse on Friday evening in weather that was a great deal better than was expected. I’m pleased to report that it stayed that way throughout most of the weekend, and the torrential rain and high winds that had been forecast earlier in the week didn’t materialise. Not that the weather would have dampened the spirits of those who attended the rally. Each and every one of us was intent on having a good time and raising money for a very worthy cause in the process. The idea for the rally had initially been Carole Way’s,  after seeing so many of our wounded soldiers passing her workplace, having arrived at Birmingham airport to be transported  to hospital after being flown back from conflicts around the world.

From a fundraising point of view, the rally can only be described as an outstanding success. Carole will be able to give you the final figure raised, but it was in excess of £1200 by flag on Sunday morning with some monies still to come in. This was due to the generosity of the ralliers and the sponsors. The hire of the hall was sponsored by an SOC members company, many of the auction prizes were donated by SOC members, more gifts were donated by companies that support the SOC and yet more SOC members were frequently seen quite literally throwing hard-earned money at hardworking marshals throughout the weekend… albeit in an effort to win a prize…. which frequently seemed to involve alcohol or chocolate!

We were given the chance to buy books, CDs, home made preserves, crafts, toys and cards from tables on Friday evening. We were challenged to try our skill on a shuffleboard which I can only describe as “very posh shove-hapenny!”, a competition that was duly won by Stuart Parsons.

The raffle was so large it had to be split into 2 halves, and there were some highly desirable items in the charity auction, which saw bids in the hundred pound range for some things, and somewhat more modest for others. There was something to fit most budgets.

Jeff Way is to be congratulated for the way in which he made both the charity auction and the raffle, entertaining. Anyone who can auction blue and pink toilet fluids, and get genuine audience involvement has probably missed their true calling… but Jeff managed it.  

Jeff and Carole were ably assisted by Steve and Sharon Horn together with Dave and Vonnie Hopkins. Between them they managed to give everyone a great time and then send the entire rally home feeling rather good about their own efforts in supporting others. Well done SOC!

Paul Phillips

Cheque presentation, 21st October

When all the monies had been counted the amount raised stood at £1,430. The organisers thought it would be good to increase this to £1,500 and so made it up to this figure. Overall it was a valiant effort for such a worthy cause and one all those who contributed can be proud of. Below you can see Carole & Jeff Way (right) along with David Hopkins (left) presenting the proceeds to RCDM representative Dave Killick of The Queen's Royal Hussars, who is a Military Liaison Officer at the hospital.