The Ruby Ball is back… All the fun of the fair while raising money for two north-east charities

Caroline Thomson

Big kids can enjoy the fun of the fair while raising money for two north-east charities this spring.

The Ruby Ball was first held last year in memory of Caroline Thomson, to coincide with what would have been her 40th birthday.

The devoted mother-of-two, who was also the head teacher at Cornhill Primary School in Aberdeen, died in 2016 after battling breast cancer, which eventually spread to her brain.

At last year’s ball, £12,500 was raised in her memory for Clan and Brain Tumour Action.

Devoted mum and head teacher to be remembered at Ruby Ball

Now Mrs Thomson’s sister, Shona Gossip, has decided to organise The Ruby Ball once more – this time raising money for cancer charity Maggie’s and Hamish Dear’s Warm Hugs.

She said: “I never dreamed we would raise £12,500 last year, so when I was asked if the Ruby Ball was coming back, I decided to give it another go and make even more in Caroline’s name.

“She adored her two boys, Callum and Robbie, and loved her job at Cornhill Primary. As a volunteer at Childline, she knew only too well the struggles faced by some children on a daily basis, so would have done anything she could to help.

“That’s why I know she would support the work being carried out by Hamish Dear’s Warm Hugs to bring a smile to youngsters battling terminal illnesses.”

The charity was set up in memory of Hamish, from Tarves, who died of neuroblastoma in 2015. His parents, Hollie and Kris, now fund day trips, short breaks and gifts for children staying at the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital and Yorkhill for long periods of time.

Miss Gossip, who is originally from Ellon, added: “Caroline was all about making children’s lives better, she showed that every day. I think what Hollie and Kris are doing to help other families is amazing, and I really want to raise as much as I can for them in her memory – while also raising awareness of a charity so close to home.

“The Maggie’s Centre in Aberdeen is a really lovely place, and the staff there are so friendly and welcoming. It’s such a comforting place to be, and I know that anything we can raise will be put to good use to support cancer patients and their families.”

Pupils pay tribute to tragic Aberdeen teacher, 38, who lost cancer battle

This year’s event, which takes place at Pittodrie on March 3, will have a funfair theme.

Guests will enjoy a drinks reception with a few surprises, a three-course meal and disco, as well as a raffle and small auction.

Raffle prizes include tickets for the inaugural Ellon Darts Masters, lunch at Eat on the Green, a show at HM Theatre, and bed and breakfast at The Marcliffe among the prizes. There are also various vouchers up for grabs – including £150 worth from Barrhead Travel.

Lots in the auction include a Scotland rugby shirt signed by the Six Nations team, a hospitality package at Highland League side Inverurie Locos’s ground and a photography session at Susan Renee’s Kingshill Studios at Kingswells.

Mrs Thomson, from Portlethen, was married to David and mum to Callum, 14, and Robbie, 11.

Since she died, her loved ones have raised more than £37,000 in her name for good causes.

To buy a ticket for The Ruby Ball, priced £50, call 07515 349890, e-mail rubyballaberdeen@gmail.com or visit www.facebook.com/rubyballaberdeen

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