THE COUPLE behind a landmark Girvan event have reached a mega fundraising milestone with £50,000 cashed in for Breakthrough Breast Cancer.
Elaine and Darren Mitchell of Girvan’s Birch Terrace hit the hefty sum on October 27 after eight years of dedicated fundraising.
Having established the Girvan walk in 2005 Elaine and Darren have regularly raked in thousands for their charity of choice.
With a fundraising target of just £1000 for their first year, the couple more than doubled their expected sum with a total of £3065 raised - upping that to as much £10,500 in charity cash in more recent years.
But Elaine said she was still shocked to have hit the £50K mark.
Having held a candle party to top up the more than £8000 raised at this year’s walk, she was in a room full of people when she realised.
“I had this whole speech prepared in my head, I had rehearsed it for about the past month,” she said. “But I just bottled it and burst into tears. That was when it hit me.”
But the Mitchell twosome have no intention of going out of the fundraising game with their £50,000 legacy. Darren has already determined to double it.
“It is hard work, but my motivation is that every year I have more people, different people, and old folk that have not been for a couple of years,” said Elaine.
“The one year I turn up and don’t have my regulars then I will stop. Or if my husband says he will divorce me! But until then I will carry on.”
But despite pledging to up their total even further, Elaine maintains the money will not overshadow the message of her walk.
“It is not about charging everybody a massive entry fee to come [Elaine keep the fee at only £10], it is about the volume of people,” she said. “That is what keeps me going.
“There is always somebody who has been touched by breast cancer. I think that’s why so many people come out and do it.”
And with regulars from across the west of Scotland taking part, and people from further afield attracted by the event’s new Facebook presence this year, the walk looks set to march firmly on.
Organisation is already underway for 2013, and the walk scheduled for June 1 - beginning from the Carrick Buildings on Henrietta Street at 6pm.
Elaine thanked the whole community, including a number of local businesses, for their continued support, and said she looks forward to presenting the £50,000 cheque next month.
To find out more about Breakthrough Breast Cancer visit www.breakthrough.org.uk.