Charity

West End tennis club seeks record sum as it prepares to host last all-star charity day

By Ellen Thomson at

It has raised tens of thousands of pounds in memory of former British women’s champion Elena Baltacha.

Four years on from staging the first Rally For Bally fundraiser, Western tennis club in Hyndland is preparing to serve its last.

But the team says it wants to go out in a blaze of glory – and raise more money than ever before.

Jokes: former footballer Ally McCoist provided the laughs at past events

Although the event tomorrow (Saturday June 2) is a sell-out and no more tickets are to be had, the charity raffle is where the real money could be raised.

Julie Gordon is part of the events team at Western Health and Racquets Club.

“This will be our last Rally for Bally event in memory of Elena Baltacha, the former number 1 GB tennis player who died tragically of cancer in 2014.

“Last year we raised over £19,000 for the nominated charities and this year we want to make sure it is our biggest and best and we have a target of raising over £20,000.”

Inspiration: the event was set up in memory of young Scottish tennis star Elena Baltacha

The club is calling time on the event to concentrate on other projects.

It says the fundraiser has exceeded all expectations.

Again, the day will be raising money for four great causes who have benefited in the past.

Julie says: “We are delighted to be running our fifth rally for bally event this year raising money for four great charities: Elena Baltacha Foundation, Playlist for Life, Cancer Support Scotland and PEEK Project.

“We have a fantastic line up for the day including live music from the John Beattie Band and Sharon Martin.

“There will be a parent and child session delivered by Judy Murray and a fabulous pro-am tournament featuring professional tennis players Colin Fleming and Ali Collins and a glittering array of local celebrities.

“For the first time this year we also welcome Susan Calman and Kirsty Wark to the event.

“We’d like to extend a big thanks to our main sponsors Speirs Gumley and Vanilla Square as well as all the organisations and individuals who have donated prizes.”

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Melodie Crumlin, Peek Project’s chief executive, said: “Fundraising efforts such as this has enabled PEEK to continue our much needed Active Play Tennis programme which goes to were children and young people are at be it a school playground, street or greenspace.

“We have witnessed first-hand how this is positively impacting on the lives of youngsters as their sense of worth and a sense of belonging to something has improved.”

Cancer Support Scotland’s Gwen Stewart said: “Rally for Bally has supported Cancer Support Scotland for the past four years.

“They have donated much needed funds from this fundraiser and helped us continue to support cancer patients and their families emotionally, physically and mentally by offering a range of complementary therapies and counselling service.”

Fayre: Spectators enjoy food and drinks as they watch the entertainment

Sarah Metcalfe CEO Playlist for Life said: “We are in awe of the organisers and the generosity of those who get involved.

“We have received more than £20,000 in three years to help us reconnect people with dementia to their memories through music. Thank you R4B2018!”

* Anyone can donate to this year’s fundraising effort here