The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation received a very generous Christmas present this week when volunteer fund-raiser Gina Long presented a cheque for £102,112, bringing the total raised for the cancer charity to over £3.9 million.
Gina was the driving force behind Sir Bobby’s Breakthrough Auction, the hugely successful online auction and charity ball organised jointly in aid of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Breakthrough Breast Cancer.
She travelled from her home in Suffolk to the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre in Newcastle upon Tyne to officially present Lady Elsie Robson with the money raised.
Accompanied by her husband Andrew, Adam Clark and Clare Morley, who were part of the team of volunteers that delivered Sir Bobby’s Breakthrough Auction, presenting the cheque was a moving occasion for Gina who organised the auction in memory of Sir Bobby and breast cancer campaigner Sally Balch.
She says: “Thankfully Sir Bobby’s Breakthrough Auction became a massive success with support from all over the world.
“That’s because my dear friends Sir Bobby and Sally, who I was so privileged to have enjoyed special times with over many years, were both extraordinary people. They both lived their lives inspiring those around them and certainly made the world a better place.
“Along with thanking the brilliant auction committee, I want to thank the donors of the magnificent prizes, the bidders and all our incredible sponsors who helped make this event such an amazing success.
“We are looking forward to having another Sir Bobby’s Auction and Ball in October 2013 and we hope it will be even bigger than the first!”
Over £50,000 was raised at Sir Bobby’s Breakthrough Ball, which was held in Bury St Edmunds in October and attended by Lady Elsie and Sir Bobby Robson Foundation Patrons Mick Mills and Delia Smith.
All other funds were raised through the online auction which featured 188 incredible lots including television, driving and sporting experiences, sports memorabilia, luxury treats and holidays. It was supported by all of Sir Bobby’s former teams, all the Premier League clubs, Celtic, Rangers and representatives from the world of rugby, horse racing, snooker, tennis, cricket and more.
Gary Lineker, Ant and Dec, Katherine Jenkins, Graeme Swann, Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger, Denise Welch, Andre Villas-Boas, Harry Redknapp and Fabio Capello are just some of the high profile names who donated very special prizes and helped make the auction such a success.
The star lot was Jose Mourinho`s `FIFA Ballon D`Or` World Coach of the Year Award trophy, which raised a staggering £26,000.
Other prizes included:
• FC Barcelona experience with personal presentation by Josep `Pep` Guardiola
• David Beckham signed shirt and ball
• Middlesbrough FC, Newcastle United FC and Sunderland AFC VIP match day experiences
• Watching an England training session with Fabio Capello and signed shirt presentation
• Silver replica of the cup ‘Taca de Portugal’, won by FC Porto under management of Sir Bobby
• Two tickets to the final of Britain`s Got Talent 2012
• Tickets to Katherine Jenkins Daydream tour and a meet and greet after the show
• Behind the scenes tour of the BBC Match of the Day studios with Gary Lineker
• Ipswich Town FC experience playing on the Portman Road turf
• A Loose Women ‘experience’ as guests of Denise Welch
The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation was launched by Sir Bobby and Lady Elsie in March 2008 to help find more effective treatments for cancer including the clinical trials of new drugs within the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care, Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.
Over 1,000 patients have been treated on clinical trials since the Sir Bobby Centre opened in February 2009 and an additional 1,000 patients have been enrolled in other research studies, studying the biology and genetics of cancer to help develop and improve treatments.
Last week (13th December) the charity announced delivery of a cutting-edge piece of cancer treatment and research equipment purchased through a record £625,000 contribution from the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.
The ultra-compact ABT Molecular Imaging Biomarker Generator is only the second of its type in the world and the first in Europe and will help with the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and other serious diseases including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
It is being installed within Newcastle University, which has invested a further £600,000, to create a specialist environment in the School of Chemistry to house the new equipment.
Lady Elsie says: “This has been a very positive year for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and I hope everyone who has helped out in any way shares my pride at our achievements together.
“My family and I greatly appreciate the support we continue to receive and getting together with Gina and the team behind Sir Bobby’s Breakthrough Auction is a wonderful way to round off 2011.
“They have worked so hard, and on a voluntary basis, to help us raise money and I’m extremely grateful to them all. To have raised over £200,000 for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Breakthrough Breast Cancer is an absolutely magnificent achievement.”
The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation is a fund within the local NHS charity and the substantial support it receives because of this means it can limit administrative costs to less than one percent.
It funds projects within the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which directly benefit cancer patients from across the north east and Cumbria and contributes significantly into wider research into the disease.
To make a donation, view messages of support, or for more information please visit www.sirbobbyrobsonfoundation.org.uk or donate by sending a cheque to Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, Room 203, Cheviot Court, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne NE7 7DN.