Awareness of motor neurone disease (MND) and the trust symbolised by Scottish rugby legend Doddie Weir has received a superb dual bout of Borders support.
Earlston RFC players, committee and friends demonstrated the spirit of the festive season at their recent East League Division 2 clash with RDC when holding a fundraiser and auction.
And Kersmains Farm in Kelso is lending its backing to the charity, Doddie Weir5, through the sales of Christmas trees at its on-site Christmas barn.
At Earlston, prior to the match, 50 guests attended a sponsors’ lunch in the clubrooms. The tables were kindly sponsored by Harbro (Agricultural Supplies) and a group from Lauder, led by Maxwell Dick.
Doddie himself was guest of honour and he was in fine form with his stories and anecdotes.
The club kindly donated all proceeds from the lunch to the fund and the ERFC ladies also gave up their time to prepare and serve a top-class feed, enjoyed by all.
The ERFC players got right into the spirit and played the game with tartan sock flashes, in honour of Doddie, and came out on top with a fine 29-10 win.
President Bob Austin acknowledged all who had made the day the success it was – as well as the sponsors and Doddie for their attendance.
Overall, the club raised the sum of £7350 from the lunch and the post-match auction, which will be passed on to the DW5 MND Trust. The organising committee of Jane Niven, Danielle Denham, Warren Fairbairn and Brian Turner thanked all who sponsored, donated, attended and spent their money.
Meanwhile, Simon and Ashley Hogg, owners of Kersmains Farm, Kelso, set up their Christmas barn in early December as a new business venture and a means to help aid the foundation set up by Doddie, following his diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) earlier this year.
The Hogg family’s Christmas tree initiative is donating £1 for every tree bought at the barn, which are all sustainably Scottish grown, and are encouraging those who visit to donate extra while they are shopping for trees.
“Every tree bought, £1 is being donated to Doddie Weir5 and we also have a bucket on site for people to add to while they are here,” said Ashley.
“We have had former British and Irish Lion and Scotland international, John Jeffery, up getting his family a tree and we are hoping for lots more visitors between now and the run-up to Christmas.
“All our trees are low needle drop so there won’t be much of a mess caused by them. We have set up the Christmas barn so the trees are hanging – they aren’t packed up in ropes. That means people will be able to see how the trees will look in their homes.”
Ashley added: “Simon’s father, David Hogg, who played for Kelso RFC, passed away after battling MND, so we know the real effects of the disease.”