Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Money left over from a 25-year-old appeal will be helping cancer patients in North Devon today.
THE legacy of a hugely successful campaign that saw the people of North Devon raise three quarters of a million pounds has gone on to help the Chemotherapy Appeal almost 25 years later.
Less than three years after Carol McCormack launched the Scanner Appeal in 1987, it had smashed its £500,000 target for North Devon’s first ever CT scanner – and kept on going right up to £750,000.
On Thursday the remainder of that fund, £10,687, was presented to the Chemo Appeal at Carol’s Bickington pub, The Plough Inn.
She was joined by some of the many people whose drive, support and inspiration had helped make it the region’s most successful community appeal at the time.
In 1987 when recovering ovarian cancer patient Carol went for a scan at Devon’s only CT scanner in Exeter, she was so impressed with the equipment that she vowed Barnstaple should have one: “They said it couldn’t be done, it was too much money.
“We worked out a strategy on how to raise some money, because I was ill and did not know what would happen. Jean Woodhams from the Gazette publicised everything we did, told everybody what we were doing and that kept it going.
“It took more than two years, we held every event you could imagine, raffles, bike rides, school events.”
Countless scanner appeal stories appeared in the Gazette and it was kept in the public eye, with numerous events and even a full sized ‘scanner’ built by a local supporter to show people what they were working for.
Building work started on the scanner unit in mid August 1990 and Carol was the first person to undergo a scan – not knowing for sure whether still was still free from cancer.
When the remaining funds were discovered, it took two years to work through Charity Commission formalities to transfer the money.
Carol was determined it go to a public fund that would benefit everybody and all agreed the Chemo Appeal was the obvious choice.
“We’re delighted to receive this money, which will make a huge difference to cancer patients in North Devon,” said fund raiser Julie Whitton.
“It’s extraordinary the volunteers who raised that substantial sum through such dedicated work are now once again helping local patients today.”