Burns Night boosts Sailability

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Scottish dancing get under way

The Burns Night supper held at The Mermaid Inn on Saturday February 2 was a great success, raising more than £2,000 towards funds for RHSC Sailability, the charity that helps disabled people to go sailing.

The weather wasn’t going to deter more than 60 people from enjoying their celebration, which was organised by Jen and David Tomkinson.

The evening began with a glass of mulled wine – a perfect start to the evening. Guests were welcomed and the winners of the monthly 100 Club Draw announced. The Haggis was piped in followed by the address to the Haggis given by Sylvia Vallely.

During a three-course meal instant raffles were held followed by the Immortal Memory and addresses to the lads and lassies. Helen Gray, from the Playden Players, masterly persuaded guests to part with their cash and bid generously at the auction of donations. Finally, The Abbey Capers Band led us all in the Gaelic tradition of Scottish dancing. As the evening ended, everyone linked arms to sing ‘Auld Land Syne’.

RHSC Sailability is a registered charity enabling people with disabilities to get out on the water in a sailing dinghy and enjoy the fun and freedom of sailing. At present funds are being raised to purchase a new rescue boat, storage for the same and new buoyancy aids.

Very many thanks to everyone, family and friends who attended the evening and helped to make it such a successful and enjoyable event. Grateful thanks go to the local businesses for their generosity in providing raffle and auction prizes and to the volunteers who worked so hard to make the evening possible.

Sue Saich and Christopher Tonner with their channel swim cheque

RHSC Sailability, with just the one boat, has reached full capacity at their Try Sailing days. In order to get schools on board we are looking for sponsors for a second boat, an RS Venture Connect with special adaptations for people with disabilities.

A huge thank you to Sue Saich for organising yet another Cross Channel Swim 2018 in support of raising funds for RHSC Sailability. The 44-mile swim, the equivalent of Dover to France and back, was again undertaken, at The Basildon Olympic Pool and meant swimming 2,832 lengths of a 25-metre pool.

Sue with the help of her friends Christopher Tonner and Sue and Ray Payne have raised almost double the sum that was raised last year, amounting to an amazing £312. Gift Aid will add an extra 25p in the pound to the amount. Grateful thanks to Sue and her friends from all at the Sailability Team.

If any Rye News readers would like to get involved with the cross-channel swim next year, please let Sailability know. Contact details are below and if you would like to get involved with any aspect of RHSC Sailability, sponsor or part-sponsor a new boat, or join our 100 Club or would like more information about the charity please contact me, via email at carolinewylson@btinternet.com or call 01797 223112.

Image Credits: Caroline Wylson , Sailability .

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