On Friday 1 February we welcomed over 700 guests to a glittering charity dinner in the National Museum of Scotland in honour of Stewart’s Melville College alumnus, Doddie Weir OBE, to raise money to be shared between by the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation and Access to Excellence. All 72 tables were sold out within an hour to members of our ESMS community and that ensured that there was a really warm and inclusive feel to the evening. You can watch a short video of the evening here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpIma57xJqU&t=1s. You can also see a wide range of photographs from the night here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/esmscommunity/albums.
On the night, guests had the opportunity to bid on a Live Auction, compered by David Henderson, BBC News Presenter and contemporary of Doddie at Stewart’s Melville College, and Bryan Lewis. The auction was supplemented by several fun charity envelope draws and a pre-event Digital Auction where people had the opportunity to bid on everything from weekends away in the UK to trips overseas, original artwork, a host of rugby memorabilia and opportunities to play golf on great courses.
The BBC’s Jill Douglas spoke movingly about the vital work of the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation but of course the undoubted star of the evening was the amazing Doddie Weir. He delivered an inspiring, humorous and emotional speech where he referenced the fact that he had tried to take the drive he had in rugby and apply this to his own personal battle with Motor Neurone Disease.
One of the highlights of the evening was a surprise performance of The Proclaimers' '500 miles’, the lyrics completely rewritten as a tribute to Doddie, by soloists, over 100 members of the ESMS senior choirs and most of the audience. A framed copy of the words, inscribed with a personal message by Craig and Charlie from The Proclaimers, was presented to Doddie.
We are particularly grateful for the financial commitment of our headline sponsors, Carbon Financial and Craneware, as well as the support of other sponsors and over 50 other individuals and organisations who generously helped through the donation of auction items. Without their support, we would not have been able to raise over £87,000 for the charities!