Travelling a fairway for charity!

WHEN charities provide support to those who are coming to terms with medical difficulties, relatives and friends often go that extra mile to raise additional funds for the good cause.

Friday, 12th March 2010, 9:03 am

This summer Aberdeenshire Council housing officer Allan Jones will embark upon a whirlwind European golfing tour which is definitely not par for the course.

When Allan's mother, Mary Jones, was diagnosed with a rare form of epilepsy in 2003, Scottish charity Quarriers epilepsy services were on-hand to offer advice and practical assistance.

In June, Allan (35), will attempt to raise thousands of pounds for the charity by travelling more than 1,200 miles from his home in Luthermuir to play seven courses, in seven countries, in seven days.

He said: "When my mum was diagnosed with a rare form of epilepsy she had some difficulties coming to terms with what it would mean for her.

"Through my work in housing I was aware of Quarriers and the support they offer to adults and children with disabilities and epilepsy.

"After I contacted them, representatives from the charity visited my mum and offered her a lot of positive advice which helped her a great deal.

"I've always remembered the help Quarriers offered and want to repay them as well as do something for my mum."

Accompanied by his brother David Jones and Uncle David Robertson, Allan will tee-off his golfing marathon on Sunday, June 27 at Kinross Golf Club before driving south to Leeds for his second round on Monday, June 28.

From there the group will chip across the water by ferry to Zeebrugge, Belgium to tackle a course there before swinging through France, Luxembourg, Germany and the Netherlands in consecutive days.

Allan, a member of Brechin Golf Club, took up golf two years ago and is looking forward to playing other challenging courses as well as raising as much money as possible for the charity so close to his heart.

He said: "I've only been playing golf for a couple of years and love the game. I came up with the idea of this challenge and as far as I'm aware it has not been done before.

"Quarriers are delighted we are raising money for them and have offered practical support and advice through their sponsorship team.

"We've set an initial fundraising target of 2,000 but are hopeful of raising a lot more through individual and corporate donations.

"We have received a commitment from Bunkered Magazine and Scottish Club Golfer to feature our trip so any companies who sponsor us will receive some publicity."

Despite the group's 'fore-sight' and planning for the trip, injury has meant that a fourth member has had to withdraw. To complete the four-ball Allan is looking for another golfer who would like to join the team at the starter's box.

"Ideally we'd like a fourth member of our team to join us for the week. This would help us raise some more money and add to the competition element of the trip.

"I'm still relatively new to the game and have a handicap of 28 but the good thing about golf is you can be any standard and have a good game due to the handicap system.

"The competition will motivate us to be at our best throughout the week and we plan to have a number of awards at the end of the trip."

Allan has created a special website to promote his charity challenge, and auction, and hopes to raise as much money as possible for Quarriers.

For more information on the whirlwind golfing tour of Europe, please visit: www.777challenge.co.uk

Before Allan dons his plus fours and hits Europe's fairways and greens he has also organised a charity auction to raise money for the good cause.

A number of prizes are on offer, including an Epiphone SG Special Guitar and rounds of golf for four at Brechin and Kinross golf courses.

Further details on the auction are available at the website and for more information please contact Allan by e-mail on: [email protected]

Details on how to donate towards Allan's fundraising effort for Quarriers are also available at: www.justgiving.com/777challenge