Over 450 walkers took to the streets of Ayr and Prestwick earlier this month for the 11th annual Ayrshire Hospice Land o’ Burns Starlight Walk.
The pre-walk entertainment was provided by MC man DJ Colin McArdle and music duo Vice Versa, with Claire Houston of Motiv8 Fitness getting the walkers warmed up before sending them off in style at 10pm from Ayr Racecourse, accompanied by the Maybole Pipe Band.
An army of volunteer stewards were once again on hand to marshal the 13, nine or four mile routes, which headed out to Prestwick for the first time. Making sure the walkers were safe along the way was the fantastic team from Blue Knights motorcycle group. Domino’s Ayr provided volunteers and staff with some tasty pre-walk pizza before heading out to steward the route too.
With the new route, there was a new halfway mark and star stop at Ayr Town Hall where walkers were greeted with hot soup donated by The Cook School Scotland and refreshments from Tesco, distributed by their Ayrshire stores community champions. They were joined by acts from the Glasgow Circus School Ariel Edge team. Local band Goodfellows provided the musical entertainment to keep walkers motivated before they set off for their final few miles.
Despite the rain as the night went on, the walkers remained in high spirits and when they arrived back at Ayr Racecourse everyone received their Starlight Walk ‘Mousey’ commemorative medal at the finish line and a well-deserved bacon roll.
Graeme Strawhorn, senior fundraising officer said “The Starlight Walk is always a very special night for the Ayrshire Hospice and we are always astounded by the amazing atmosphere within the Ayrshire Suite as our walkers prepare to venture out and pound the streets in aid of our cause.
“The true meaning of the event is what really shines bright. Many participants walk in memory or celebration of a loved one, family member, friend or colleague who has suffered from life limiting illness and has been touched by the care and services the hospice provides.”
“The support of events like the Starlight Walk is always phenomenal and reminds us how many people value what we do. To them we offer a massive thank you for their efforts out on the streets of Prestwick, Ayr and Alloway. The atmosphere at the build-up, our Star Stops and out on the streets was, once again, electric. A huge thank you to you all.
“A huge thank you also goes to our wonderful team of volunteers and staff for filling the various roles on the night and ensuring everything ran like clockwork from start to finish!
“And finally, we could not have staged such a fantastic event without the support of our sponsors. Ian Struthers and the team at Ayr Audi once again agreed to be our main event sponsor and we are thrilled to have such a special partnership with their team.
“Their generous support with a selection of Audi cars as support vehicles for the walk also ensured our routes were well monitored and participants were looked after throughout. We also give huge thanks to our supporting sponsors; Healthy Working Lives, Tesco, The Cook School, South Ayrshire Council and the Ayrshire Post who all contributed to the success of this year’s walk.”
The following organisations also kindly offered event support: South Ayrshire Police; Ayrshire Roads Alliance; Air Image Photography; Alloway Village Hall; The Oval Prestwick; Face painters from Ayrshire College; Mascots from Brownings the Bakers, James Frew Ltd, Dominoes and Agent H.
Sponsor money is still coming in so watch this space for the grand total raised!