Edinburgh Oor Wullie auction raises £318,000 for charity
AN auction of the eye-catching "Oor Wullie" statues which have brightened up the Capital for the past 11 weeks has raised £318,000 for the Edinburgh Children's Hospital Charity.
The 60 individually-designed, life-sized sculptures from the Oor Wullie’s Big Bucket Trail went under the hammer last night at Prestonfield House hotel.
And the one which netted the most money was the statue of legendary fundraiser Tom Gilzean.
The 99-year-old ex-soldier - who is still recovering from a nasty fall at a tram stop - has raised more than £1 million for charity rattling his collecting can in Princes Street.
But his family, who launched a crowdfunding page in an attempt to buy the sculpture lost out to another bidder, who ended up paying £13,000 for it.
His son Douglas Gilzean, 68, said: “It would have been a wonderful gesture if we were able to purchase my dad’s Oor Wullie sculpture as a tribute to him but we always knew that this may not be possible.
“What is most important to Dad is that his sculpture has raised such a huge sum for Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity to support children and young people in the Sick Kids
"It is his life’s passion to fundraise for the hospital so he is absolutely over the moon with the amount that his sculpture achieved at auction and through our crowdfunding efforts, and that this will now be donated to this wonderful cause.
Other top sellers were Thistle Do Nicely by artist Billy Hutchinson, which sold for £10,000, and Oor Tiger by Donna Forrester which sold for £8,000.
Roslyn Neely, CEO of ECHC, said: “Oor Wullie’s BIG Bucket Trail has been phenomenal and the support we have had from the people of Edinburgh has been just amazing.
“We would like to say an enormous thank you to each and every one of our supporters who took part in the trail and who came to the auction to help us raise such an incredible total. We are absolutely thrilled.
“Thanks to everyone’s generosity, the incredible, life-changing work of Scotland’s children’s hospital charities continues and we can ensure that children, young people and their families are better supported and have a positive hospital experience.”