The car’s the star as pair’s charity raffle hits top gear

Ian Hume with Trish Fiddes, left, and Mairi O'Keefe
Ian Hume with Trish Fiddes, left, and Mairi O'Keefe
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When it comes to donating raffle prizes, most people would be happy to contribute some bath products or a cheap bottle of fizz.

But Lothians couple Andrew and Patricia Fiddes have gone a step further by giving away their prized sports car. The pair’s 1967 MG was the top prize in a fundraiser for a multiple sclerosis respite centre.

The couple organised a dinner, dance and prize draw to benefit the closure-threatened Leuchie House Short Break Care in North Berwick – raising £9500 for the home.

Drew, 53, who owns a plant hire firm, explained: “We had owned the car for ten years and we’d lovingly restored it.

“We got a lot of pleasure from it, but we just decided it was time someone else got some happiness from the car. I think we must have sold around 300 tickets for it.”

The lucky winner of the motor was painter and decorator Ian Hume from Whitekirk.

Drew said: “Ian had just bought the one ticket for the raffle. I called him on the Saturday night and left a message to say he had won but I’m a bit of a leg-puller and he called me back the next day saying he didn’t believe me.”

Leuchie House looked set for the axe last summer following an MS Society announcement that it was withdrawing from direct provision of respite care.

The home was granted a six-month stay of execution following a well-publicised campaign backed by politicians, service-users and a 30,000-strong petition to save it.

Drew said: “Leuchie House is very local to us and I suppose I’m a bit of a rebel – I see something is shutting down and I think we should be doing something to keep it going.”

Friends were only too willing to do their bit to ensure the evening was a success, including the band Riffler, comedian Eric Davidson and Douglas Stenhouse, who donated a prize from his firm Funky Foto.

Patricia, who works for the Scottish Court Service, said: “We’d like to thank everyone involved, we couldn’t have done it without the efforts of everyone who bought tables, provided prizes and gave up their time to make the evening such a success.”

Mairi O’Keefe, chief executive of Leuchie House, said: “We’re so appreciative and inspired by Drew and Trish’s efforts. We can’t thank them enough.

“Given that our guests and staff believed that Leuchie was at risk of closure just a year ago, we are all amazed by the way that the community has demonstrated such support for Leuchie and what we do.”

Almost £500,0000 has been raised for Leuchie to date, and the charity hopes to complete the appeal by the end of 2011.

For details of how to support Leuchie, contact 01620-892 864 or visit www.leuchiehouse.org.uk.