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Guest blog: How I organised a virtual race evening in aid of MS-UK!

In this guest blog, Liz Hawkins tells us all about how she organised a virtual race evening in aid of MS-UK, as part of her Virgin Money London Marathon fundraising…


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So the halls booked. That was free, one of the perks of working in a school.

Now what to do.

It seemed there have been lots of quizzes recently fundraising for various charities so I wanted to do something different. One of the suggestions was a virtual race evening.

Ok what’s that?

It’s an evening of horse racing, watched on TV, races are bet on and the the race footage is shown to reveal the race and winner.

I was given the number of a man who would run the event for a fee of £200. Is it worth the money?

Well he would come along with the technology, so we would be able to all see the races, there would be race cards on the tables and he had a app on the laptop that places your bet, prints you out a betting slip and then works out the winnings. For me this was worth every penny. So race-man booked!

Do we/don’t we need a bar?

I know my audience, they would want to be able to have a drink on a Friday night and for work colleagues it was the end of term, so we are on holiday!

img_51271.jpgOK so I would need a licence to sell alcohol, simple, just fill in a lengthy form and submit to the local council, along with the correct fee, for me this was £21.

Then Christmas happened…

Following Christmas my daughter and I set up a Facebook event page and sent out invites.

On this page we were able to do reminders and I also asked for any unwanted gifts that would be suitable as raffle prizes, they came flooding in….

People that couldn’t make it to the evening, pledged money onto my JustGiving account, which I had also put into the page.

The week leading up to our race night, I hired glasses from the local supermarket, for a deposit. There would only be a cost for any breakages.

They also agreed I could return any unsold items.

So the the day of the event I collected the glasses, bought snacks and soft drinks along with alcohol.

Tony the man running the race evening arrived in plenty of time to set up. Friends helped me to set up for the raffle and the bar, ahead of my husband and friend running the bar for the evening.

Tony asked for two or three helpers who would be willing to be the tote, my daughter, her boyfriend and a friend offered to do this, so Tony took them through what they needed to do, apparently it was really easy!

All was ready when the first of our guests walked through the door, the evening was a great success, the races got everyone involved, the raffle went really well and the bar pretty much sold out!

My friends and family had a great night, but most importantly they helped me to raise a whooping £850 profit for MS-UK! With match funding of £350 I raised £1,200 – amazing!

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