Cancer fight fete gets JK Rowling prize

Amy and Gary Ewen at St Andrew Square. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Amy and Gary Ewen at St Andrew Square. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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HARRY Potter author JK Rowling is helping to bring a touch of magic to a fundraising drive being held in the Capital.

Amy Ewen is holding a one-off fete – an event more ­traditionally associated with a village green or community hall – in St Andrew Square on Saturday to raise funds for Cancer Research UK.

And the prize attraction will be a signed collection of all seven Harry Potter books personally given to the family by the author.

The limited edition set bearing the autograph of JK Rowling, pictured, will be auctioned off to the highest bidder, with Mrs Ewen hoping the books will help deliver an overall windfall for charity of at least £1000.

The 28-year-old from Barnton, who began organising the fete three months ago, said of JK: “She sent me best wishes for the day. She’s an absolutely amazing woman. She said that she’d like to do something to help and she’s donating these books, which is a great help.”

The magic of the Harry Potter series has strong links to the Capital, with Rowling having written four of the novels from her former Merchiston home. The property was sold for more than £2.2 million at the end of last year.

Mrs Ewen is doing the event after her uncle died from bone cancer.

She said: “I’m very fond of helping to raise money for charity. I ran Race for Life back in March and then we actually found out that my uncle was diagnosed with terminal ­cancer.

“I just wanted to do that bit more, not just for my uncle –although that hit the heart a little bit – but for everyone really. My uncle had bone cancer, which radiated from the lungs. It spread very quickly. It hit the category four before they could do anything about it. He had one treatment of chemotherapy, but it didn’t touch him. He was too weak to carry on with it. It was shortly after the chemo – about three weeks after – that he actually passed. It was very quick.”

Hours have been spent from home assembling a list of crowd-pulling attractions.

A bouncy castle, face painting, raffle, lucky dip, book and cake stalls, and Highland dancers are all in the running to entertain visitors. A “beat the goalkeeper” football shoot-out will also be set up.

Community groups have pitched in with donations of cakes and books.

Mrs Ewen said she had been surprised at how easy it was to book out St Andrew Square for the fete.

“I rang Edinburgh City Council and told them what I wanted to do. The spot was free.

“I’ve got a site fee to pay, but otherwise they said they were more than happy for me to hold the event. They were really supportive.”

Husband Gary Ewen said: “We are hoping to do this every year and to make the fight against cancer closer to a cure.”

The fete is running from 9am to 5pm.