The total we raised at the fundraiser in tribute to our friend Bernie Blaney in aid of the Southport Kidney Fund was £518. As admission was free, this amount was raised solely from the raffle and donations into the charity collection boxes. It was an excellent evening of music, featuring folk group Patchwork, blues singer Raphael Callaghan, the Wayfarers Singers who specialise in barbershop and with whom Bernie had sung, plus singers from the Bothy and Maghull Folk Clubs.
We were pleased to welcome members of Bernie's family, especially his wife Sue and daughter Judith, and also John Pugh, MP for Southport and five local councillors; Bernie had been active in his local Liberal Democrat Party branch, but the evening was not one for politics.
The night climaxed with a ensemble rendition of the song Bernie was probably best known for singing, Strike The Bell, which really did have everyone joining in. I have accompanied Bernie on that song so many times in the past that it felt strange to have to take the lead.
Thanks to everyone who helped make the evening such a great success.
P.S. a subsequent donation of £100 has increased this total to £618.