Judy Murray wowed the audience at the biggest fundraising event of the year for The Prince's Trust Scotland last week when she pulled a fabulous double auction prize out of the bag, raising a staggering £80,000.
This is the largest amount ever raised for a single auction item at the event.
The mother of tennis superstar Andy Murray was attending this year’s Lunch with an Old Bag alongside hundreds of guests, including American group The Three Degrees at Prestonfield House in Edinburgh.
Judy had already donated a tennis fan’s dream – a signed Andy Murray racquet, racquet bag, signed tennis ball from the Wimbledon final and tickets to the opening day of next year’s Wimbledon tournament.
After some competitive bidding, Judy surprised everyone by generously offering to double the donation so that the two highest bidders could each walk away with the prize; as each bid £40,000 the total from this lot alone was £80,000.
The event went on to raise an incredible £425,000 in aid of The Prince’s Trust Scotland.
Judy said, "The Prince’s Trust is a great charity, I’m a big believer in creating opportunities for young people. I’ve been a supporter of this event for several years but this is the first time I’ve been here in person and it’s incredible to see the generosity of people here today.
“It’s great that Andy’s success is helping other young people who are not as fortunate as he has been.”
Celebrating its fifth year, the event attracted ladies from across Scotland to support the Trust and raised an impressive amount in one afternoon, which was £155,000 more than last year’s efforts and brings the five year total to over £1million.
Some of Scotland’s most glamorous and influential women including Jean Johannson, Anna Freemantle and Baillie Angela Blacklock were joined by ‘honorary old bags’ Jack Vettriano and John Amabile for the event, hosted by James Thomson OBE at Prestonfield.
Soul sensations the Three Degrees had the crowds dancing to some of their greatest hits. The trio follow in the footsteps of Jason Donovan, Russell Watson and Lulu, who have all supported the event with intimate, unplugged performances.
Three Degrees vocalist Valerie Holiday said: "Although we have just completed a tour, we could not turn down the opportunity to come to Scotland and perform at this wonderful event.
“Raising this amount of money in an afternoon is an incredible achievement and will go a long way in helping young people facing difficult issues make a real go of their lives.”
A collection of eight money-can’t-buy auction packages were created by the committee to whet guests’ appetites. This year’s event was co-sponsored by private bank, Adam & Co; accountancy firm, Springfords and marketing specialists, RAPP; highlights of some of the amazing auction prizes included:
• A week long trip on the luxurious, fully-staffed 60 foot ‘Sonas’ yacht round New England, USA visiting the famous Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod.
• A trip to France to follow in the footsteps of R&B star Rhianna’s recent visit to Coco Chanel’s private apartment, as well as dining at Alan Ducasse’s iconic restaurant, Le Jules Verne, 400 feet above Paris in the Eiffel Tower.
The event was the brainchild of Geraldine Gammell and James Thomson – a board member of The Prince’s Trust Scotland. For the past five years James has generously hosted this invitation-only lunch event, from cocktails to coffee, at his five-star venue, Prestonfield. James is committed to The Trust’s Get into Cooking programme and some of his staff catering today’s event started their careers through that programme.
The Prince’s Trust supports disadvantaged young people to get their lives on track by giving them skills for work. Three in four young people helped by the charity move into jobs, education or training.
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Source: Prince's Trust