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Highland Heroes: Vote for your Fundraiser of the Year

By Leah Williamson

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Giving up their time to help good causes are (from left) Chloe Tuach, Paul Wilson and Iain MacRae (pictured very back).
Giving up their time to help good causes are (from left) Chloe Tuach, Paul Wilson and Iain MacRae (pictured very back).

Chloe Tuach

LOCAL charities and causes often rely entirely on the dedication and support of local fundraisers who organise events to help generate much-needed money, and Chloe Tuach (pictured below), from Muir of Ord, is just one of those hard-working fundraisers.

Chloe, along with dad, Gary, organised a Las Vegas-style event at the Macdonald Drumossie Hotel in Inverness last year raising thousands of pounds for Highland Hospice, Mikeysline, and the Celebrating Amy Community Fund which was also able to support MFR Cash for Kids, Step Up for Sam, Dream Believe Achieve, Tarradale Primary School and Black Isle Breast Cancer Care.

The event was held in memory of Chloe’s mum, Amy, who passed away in 2022 after a battle with diabetes.

The event was attended by more than 260 guests and raised over £30,000 to be split between the charities.

A nomination praised Chloe’s dedication in supporting her mum and fundraising to help support her community: “Chloe had to adapt her life since she was eight years old to be able to care for her mam and had to call ambulances and doctors at the age of eight and upwards.

“After her mam’s passing, Chloe and her dad, with a group of friends, organised a charity event, Celebrating Amy, in memory of her mam and raised over £30,000 for local charities! This year and years before, Chloe has been an inspiration to many!”

Chloe was delighted to have been shortlisted for the Highland Heroes fundraiser of the year award: “I’m delighted. We raised over £30,000. We were over the moon with how many people came and how much money we raised.”

Celebrating Amy was such a huge success in raising funds for local causes that the family are planning a second event to be staged later this year.

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Iain MacRae

WHEN Munlochy farmer Iain MacRae decided to stage a fundraiser in aid of Breast Cancer Now he had no idea the event would be so successful.

In just one day, the tractor run and family fun day at the farm raised £40,000 and welcomed hundreds of visitors, friends and neighbours. Although Iain (Pictured below) and wife Caroline, along with other local farmers, had staged annual charity tractor runs to raise money for local causes, the couple chose to organise this special event for Breast Cancer Now following Caroline’s diagnosis in 2015. Originally planned for 2020, Covid put the brakes on it until last May last year.

There was stock judging, kids’ competitions, raffles, an auction with items donated by local businesses and friends, and a 1960 Fordson tractor belonging to the family had been fully restored to its former glory by a close friend and auctioned on the day.

A nomination for Iain said: “Spare time is not something that he has a lot of. However, he wanted to give something back for the support they had received. He’d hoped to raise in the region of £10,000 but he was absolutely staggered to reach a final total of £40,000 for the one day event thanks to the generosity of the local community.”

Iain was delighted the event had been such a huge success and proud to be shortlisted: “ I’m shocked, really shocked. I never dreamed anything like that would come off it. I’m proud as well because we put a lot of work into it.”

Vote here

Paul Wilson

WHEN musician Paul Wilson decided to mark his 50th birthday in a special way by giving something back to his community, his idea definitely hit the right note.

He created an orchestra to play, initially, for one night only to raise money for MFR’s Cash for Kids.

The Cash for Kids Symphony Orchestra drew together 60 musicians from across the north and north-east to perform at Inverness Cathedral in 2018. Despite only rehearsing together for a few hours on the day of the concert, the night was a huge success raising £1800. The second concert in 2019 raised £2600 with its selection of movie soundtracks. Covid forced a pause for the next two years but in 2022 the orchestra, now up to 75 players, returned in force raising £3700 and an additional £2000 with a Christmas concert in conjunction with MFR.

This year’s concert will take place in September where the audience will be transported to Broadway!

A nomination said: “Paul has a busy home life and works full time so this is all done in any spare time he may have.

“His focus and commitment on raising money for local children who need it the most is unwavering.”

Paul was completely humbled to be shortlisted: “I was quite taken aback but it was a wonderful surprise.

“We don’t do these things for glory or recognition.

“The satisfaction comes from doing a bit of good.

“It’s a win-win. I love organising it and playing, all the musicians enjoy doing it, the audience like it and most importantly, Cash for Kids benefits.

“It’s a real team effort and only made possible with the incredible support of the community, our musicians who freely give their time, our corporate sponsors and Inverness Cathedral who so kindly give us a home.”

Vote here

Words from the category sponsor: Jeni Alexander, a partner in Sharon Leon, said: “Fundraisers make such an important contribution to their communities, providing support to those in need and making a huge difference to their everyday lives. They never ask for anything in return, not even a thank you.

“We’re delighted to give our support to Highland Heroes and sponsor the award for fundraiser of the year. This is our opportunity and yours to say thank you and show appreciation for the fundraisers in your community.”

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