Here at The Molly and Mia Foundation, we are extremely grateful for all those who organise events to raise funds, and awareness, for the charity. These people put a lot of hard work and effort into organising these events, and we feel it’s only appropriate that we give them some recognition. We will be featuring some of our valued fundraisers on our blog every month.
This month we got talking to Jennifer Neill, who organised a fantastic “Vintage Tea Party” themed dance, raffle and auction in the Royal British Legion in Cookstown.
How did you hear about the Molly and Mia Foundation?
I heard about it from Dianna, we knew each other when we were younger. About 2 years ago I found her through Facebook and added her. It was then that I seen she had started the Molly and Mia Foundation, I lost my son Matthew to stillbirth and didn’t know that Dianna had went through a similar experience. I phoned Dianna and told her about Matthew and she invited me to the group.
Why did you choose the Molly and Mia Foundation?
We (Alastair – Jennifer’s husband) lost Matthew in 2002. It was a Saturday and I was worried that I hadn’t felt the baby move and went to hospital. We already had Lucy (then 3) so I knew something was amiss. It was then that we found out that the baby had passed. Matthew was born on the Tuesday. We were devastated. I found it very had to talk about and bottled a lot of my grief up. It was only through meeting with Dianna and coming along to the group that I finally felt able to talk about Matthew. Dianna gave me a lot of strength. After two years of meeting with the Molly and Mia group I got the courage to do something in his memory. I wanted to give back to the charity for their help.
How did the Charity help?
The Foundation is just like a family, such an easy group to talk to. I feel comfortable talking about Matthew. Dianna has been amazing, a tower of strength. There was a balloon release at the Memory Garden in October 2013 and I had a balloon for Matthew. We go to the garden a few times a year. It’s nice to go and sit in the quiet and remember him. Then at Christmas there was a Carol Service and we all got baubles to write our baby’s names on and hung them on the tree. It was beautiful!
Most recently I went to a pamper day in the Galgorm that Dianna and Emma organised. The girls could not have done enough for us. Dianna lifted us that morning and took us up so we didn’t have to worry about getting there. The whole day was so well organised, an awful lot of work went into it. Lots of tiny touches. There was no pressure to talk, we were just there to relax and no rushing about or anything. We had lunch, than a spa treatment, after that back up to the room to get our hair and make-up professionally done. It was a real confidence boost.
We then had our photographs taken by a photographer who was going to be taking us home in a minibus. He put the camera in his car and drove off, we thought he was away to get the minibus. We walked around the garden and then spotted two white stretch limos. We thought they were there for a wedding party, we were messing around and getting our picture taken in front of them when Dianna announced that they were for taking us home. It was a fantastic surprise for us all!
How did the fundraiser go?
I organised a Vintage themed dance to raise money for the Molly and Mia foundation and Stewartstown Primary School which my 3 youngest attend (Emily – 10, Scott – 8 and Sophie – 5). I decorated the Legion with some vintage touches, tea cups, flowers and bird cages. Lots of little things, like a carousel wheel of treats, scones etc, some personalised cupcakes for the two charities really added to the theme.
I was overwhelmed by peoples generosity – I had 41 prizes donated for the raffle and auction! I really can’t thank everyone enough for the raffle prizes and donations. A huge thank you to everyone who came along on the night itself. I had great support. Ben Currie and his band did the music and they were great. By the end of the night we had raised £1146. Myself and Alastair rounded that up to £1200 so that both charities got £600.
Thanks for your fundraising Jennifer, you done Matthew proud!