Way back towards the end of March I wrote about the Charity day we had arranged at The Ring o Bells, Willenhall .. one of my local boozers .. well it’s happened and from what was an idea that rose from talking to the landlord about my LEJoG trek to a full on day to raise funds for my three chosen charities and a local Willenhall based Charity (Substance Matters) at 1130am on Saturday 22nd April it became reality.
It was a steady start to the day but from about 1pm all day the pub and beer garden was packed, the sun came out, the kids ran riot and loved the face painting and bouncy castle .. the barbq dried up the beer that was drank a lot during the day by the adults, Live music during the afternoon got people in the mood for a great day, I was doing my 12 hours Darts Marathon for the Charities of LEJoG and Substance Matters with people donating a quid, three quid or a fiver to play either 1,5 or 11 legs of darts, the day wasnt about winning or losing just raising money .. one of the customers played a lot of darts against me and I appreciate that as I did everybody else, over £100 was donated during the darts and we had an appearance by BDO darter Jamie “Yozza” Hughes who donated a signed picture for the auction later in the day, also one of the Ring o Bells regulars and Jamie’s Warwickshire teammate Dean Stewart, I have known Dean for a few years now but never played him at darts so I was honoured to have the chance during the day, I did win one leg and could have had another 2 probably against him, overall I played 157 legs of darts in the 12 hours which excelled what I expected to play (my target was 130).
The tombola went really well with loads of prizes and £60 raised on that alone. Nighttime came and the disco kicked in playing music of all genres to dance the night away to and also keep pushing me in the last few hours of the marathon, I have to admit the last 2 hours was the hardest challenge both mentally and physically but support from the people around me kept me going. I played Carl the landlord with my last leg which started about 2322 so 8 minutes to complete the game and I hit the winning double (D10) at smack on 2330. My friend Sean then announce the end of the Marathon crediting me with it all, the pub was still very busy, so when Sean announced the end the whole pub burst out into a round of applause, I was overwhelmed with it all but this showed that from a small idea and the work that had gone into organising it all with a small team of helpers that it was all worth it and the sum raised of £460 showed what a great day it had been. The darts did take its toll on me, my darting hand swelled up pretty bad but as they say NO PAIN NO GAIN.
So Charity Day 1 ended and the cheque presentations will be happening next week to Substance matters (a 60% share) and to myself for my LEJoG (40% share which I rounded up), one of my friends owns The County pub also in Willenhall, I received a message from him asking whether they could raise funds for my 3 LEJoG charities at an event they are having on April 29th at the pub, again I was gobsmacked because I didn’t expect this at all, they were looking for a charity or charities to raise money for at “THE CHEEKY BLEEDERS” night and I was more than happy to agree to this, it as shown me and hopefully Willenhall that a community can come together at times and I really appreciate what The Ring o Bells & The County have done to help me towards my target.
20 days to go before I set off to Penzance on the eve of the main event I have raised after this weekend £676 so more than halfway towards my target.