“The first time I heard about people in the Lake District raising money for us I cried for ages, I was so moved. It is really wonderful to see how people are standing with us.”
As soon as we realised the extent of the disaster in Japan, Kirstie Sobue and I resolved to do what we could to raise money for the relief fund. At the second of our fund raising events today we enticed business and professional people from the Lake District to a lunch at the Holbeck Ghyll Hotel. When I asked Andrew McPherson, the manager, whether he was willing to help he said “Yes” without a moment’s hesitation and he very generously provided us with a Michelin Star meal with Champagne and wine at minimal cost, so that £65 from each £75 ticket has gone to the charity. An auction and raffle boosted the total amount raised to £4,350, easily exceeding our target of Yen 500,000. Much of the credit for this goes to Atsuko Tamura, a Japanese journalist, who made a very moving speech about her experiences during the disaster. The money is going to an appeal set up by Mr Mitsuyama, the leading representative of Japanese tourism in London.
My special thanks to Tony Jackson from Lakeland Vintners, who supplied the Champagne; to Val Altham of Altham’s Butchers and Stephen Ellis of Temple Heelis, solicitors, for being so generous in buying tickets and bidding so fervently for the auction prizes; and to the Holbeck Ghyll Hotel for donating a weekend for two, as well as providing the lunch.