As I am typing this newsletter the weather is lovely and sunny and the spring blossoms are a joy to behold. Since the last newsletter we have had the second very successful concert and the AGM, not to mention Christmas and Easter. My wife and I are celebrating the birth of our first grandchild and will very shortly be going on a trip to Switzerland to help son no. 2 and his wife to decorate their new home.
I now wish to pay a tribute to Stan Angier, who died suddenly on 14th April. Stan, a family man, was Chairman of MD for many years and even did a second spell as Chairman when a crisis arose. Although I did not know Stan at that time, I have heard many of our members talking about him with great fondness and indeed since I met him I have found him to be just as everyone else has said, a very kind and generous man who gave both time and money to the cause of Muscular Dystrophy. Stan was always one to enjoy a laugh as he worked and poked gentle fun at himself and others in a charming way. As time went by Stan found that he was no longer able to help out as much as he used to but he still helped as much as he was able to. He will be sadly missed by all of us but I think that I provided him with one last laugh to say farewell to him when, having said I would pick up Maria & David Fremlin and take them to the cremation service, I inadvertently forgot and they had to cycle there. I could swear I heard Stan laughing his socks off.
We have a number of collecting boxes at pubs, dentists etc. and these are a useful source of income. You could help us to improve this line of income by asking in outlets near to you if they would be willing to have one of our boxes on their premises. Please consider this and let me know when you are successful.
Since the last newsletter we have had a collection at 5 Ways Clacton which raised £212.18, received £225.80 from the Asda Wishing Well Appeal, made £457.25 at the excellent Concert and £160.75 at the collection at Sainsbury's Priory Walk. This meant that we had income of £5,226.52 for the year of which £4,000 was sent to Head Office. Although this was down on the previous year our committee had been considerably reduced in size and we had to therefore cut back on our commitments. Thank you to Maria for her Kefir sales which brought in £763 this year and her personally designed cards £129.93. Many of you will be aware of Tony Farley's health problems but he and Bridget still managed to raise £605.42 with their Organ. Thank you to those people and best wishes to Tony with his back problems.
In 2004 we have started off well raising £988.74 on our stall at the Primrose Festival and we have been promised another £1,900 from Bypass Nurseries (5p per plant sold during the 9 days of the festival). The raffle at the AGM raised £59.25 and the collection at 5 Ways Brightlingsea £428.81. We have also just received £350 from SGR in respect of Operation Santa Claus. A further £325.55 was raised at the collection at 5 Ways Mersea. My apologies go to Doug & Sylvia Bennett for arriving late for my part of the collection. I had a bad few days from the organisation point of view having read the time wrong by an hour, arriving late at Mersea, getting into my car afterwards and feeling sick, which continued for the next 36 hours, only to forget to pick up Maria & David on the Monday. Hopefully my senior moments have all come together otherwise you may need to replace your chairman!
We are pleased to welcome David Fremlin onto the committee. David has taken over as Secretary but we have also retained Sue Wood as a committee member. We would still welcome one more member on our committee but are in a better position than this time last year. We welcome a new helper to the Group, Gina Clementson, who has already helped at Cards for Good Causes and the Primrose Festival.
|14th May||a collection at Colchester North Station|
|12th June||a Collection at 5 Ways Tiptree|
|25th & 26th June||a collection at Safeway Clacton|
|17th July||a collection at 5 Ways Abbotts Road|
|31st July||a collection at Asda|
|14th August||a collection at Waitrose Sudbury|
|28th August||a collection at Tesco Sudbury|
|30th August||a stall at Mersea Lions fete|
|25th September||a collection at Sainsbury's Tollgate.|
You will note that there is no booking for a concert this year but we expect to arrange one for April 2005. Store collections are becoming more and more difficult to arrange with Tesco only allowing collections every 3 years and Sainsbury's every 2 years. If anyone has any ideas for any further events we would be pleased to hear from you.
We have a new National President, Sue Barker (of tennis fame and host of A Question of Sport), with Lord Attenborough becoming our second honorary life president alongside Lord Walton.
Last year MD applied with a consortium of scientists for funds for anti sense research (the Government White Paper on Genetics included providing money for single gene disorders) and they have been successful. The Government has agreed to provide £1.6million for the consortium. Clinical trials will be for toxicity only but it does represent a first real step. Anti sense research is where a patch covers the defect in the gene and the intention is to get the idea out of the laboratory and into the clinic.
The Annual Meeting is in Leeds in May and do send off your proxy forms (inside Target MD) if you are not attending.
Half board at the 4 Star Aloe Hotel, Kato Paphos, Cyprus - 150 metres from the beach. Hotel facilities are excellent and include air conditioning in all rooms, an a la carte restaurant, 4 bars, coffee shop, 2 outdoor swimming pools, a heated indoor swimming pool, children's pool and playground, sunbathing terraces, 2 floodlit tennis courts, games room, health club, gym, sauna, Jacuzzi, massage room, water sports club, diving school, gift shop, hairdressing salon, laundry service and 24hour room service.
It is for 10 nights flying from Gatwick on Wednesday 25th August 2004, returning on 4th September 2004. Cost is £895 per adult, £545 per child, including flight and insurance but excludes transfer costs or any excursions.
If anyone is interested arrangements can be made to transport specialist equipment on the plane, e.g. electric wheelchairs, portable hoists, commodes etc. Wheelchair transfers are arranged to and from the airport and there will be male and female helpers who can help transfer people onto the plane or in and out of the swimming pools. They also help with respite care and assist with equipment and luggage (but not with 24hour care).
Contact details - Mrs. Anita Byers, South Lodge, 14 Matchams Close, Matchams, Ringwood, Hants, BH24 2BZ Tel:01425 483754 Fax: 01425 486280
For those of you who use computers and pay out substantial amounts on ink - try the following web site: www.thaigiftcompany.co.uk and click on the reference to inkcycle. You will almost certainly find that you cut the cost of your ink by a very considerable amount.
I hope you all enjoy a wonderful summer.
60 Marlowe Way
Colchester, CO3 4JP
Tel: 01206 520986