how did it all start?
In 1994, I was diagnosed with the dreaded disease of breast cancer. The fear, shock and anxiety were immense – for myself, husband, mother and family. Once you come to terms with it you have to find the strength to fight and, while dealing with all the treatment and surgery, you have to be positive and determined not to give in. YOU CANNOT LIE DOWN TO IT! After my treatment I wanted to show gratitude to all concerned and decided, with the aid of my supportive family, to run a dance and hopefully raise a few pounds for the Beatson Oncology Centre. I then asked my very good friends – Colette, Angela, Mimi, Sarah and Sally, if they would help me, which of course they did. In my naivety, I thought we would raise a couple of thousand pounds. I approached Stephen Carter, then General Manager of the Moat House for assistance and with the funds raised from that initial Ball, we managed to purchase an image analysis machine for the Beatson costing £16,400. This was the first of many, many vital pieces of equipment that have been donated to various organisation in the West of Scotland, all with the aid of our loyal supporters, the majority of whom are still with us to this day.
Over the years, the Balls led to fashion shows, 10k runs, golf days, cycle runs, ‘At Home’ events, afternoon teas, sponsored walks, disco nights and cookery demos etc etc etc, the list is as endless as the imagination and creativity of our supporters.
The Crowne Plaza Hotel, formerly the Moat House, has been a constant in the history of the White Lily Fund. General Manager Dominic McVey, together with his team, have assisted us tirelessly and attended to our every need (and these were many) during our various charity events at the hotel. The collaboration between the White Lily Committee and the Crowne Plaza has been a very successful one.
On looking back over the life of the White Lily, my late mother Filomena, known as Nonna to everyone, played a very large role in the running of the charity. As an example, every year up to her death she handmade countless pink ribbons that were handed out to guests at the annual Ball, plus extra special pearl ones for members of the Committee. At the Balls, it was Nonna who was our banker, sitting at the door, her arms wrapped around her handbag, which was stuffed with money! We often speak about her at our White Lily meetings.
Past members of the Committee, Angela DiCiacca; Mimi Coia; Sarah Thomson; the late Doreen Don; Monica Hutcheson; Barbara Haniford; Anna De Marco; Audrey Simpson and Latitia McGlennan, although no longer on the Committee, were there at some point helping the fund to grow and making it a recognisable charity. Sally McNair, our Patron throughout, regularly gave her time and changed her busy schedule to suit. I thank you all. To my present Committee, Colette, Silvana and Margaret – where would I be without them? Their ideas and endless hours committed have been immense. Reaching this target would have been impossible without them. A particular mention must go to my dear friend Colette. We have worked together from the very start and without her unique skills and personality the White Lily Fund would not be where it is today.
I feel so honoured, humbled and privileged to have met so many people who have wanted to be associated with this charity. Over the years, numerous other charities have formed but I am sure that there can’t be many that can boast so many loyal supporters. In fact, I estimate that that three quarters of those attending our Grand Finale Ball have been with us from day one. How do I find the words to express what is in the heart for you all? ‘Thank You’ sounds so inadequate but it is simple, sincere and heartfelt.
PRESIDENT ANGELA BRUNO MBE
The White Lily Fund started actively raising funds for Breast Cancer Research again in 2012.
Since having ceased pro active fund raising in 2010. I felt too often that there was still the desire of loyal followers to keep on giving.
I have been fortunate enough to find support within a New Committee, and we have new and exciting ideas / plans for our fund raising in the coming months,
The White Lily Fund looks forward to your continued support and hope to see you at our upcoming events.