More than Â£3,500 was raised at Wednesday’s SJA Sports Awards for the chosen charitable cause, the Prostate Cancer Charity, bringing the total raised for this year’s nominated charity close to a “fantastic” Â£7,000 from the generosity of SJA members and their guests.
“Generous members” was not a phrase used in a hilarious routine performed by Andy Ripley at the event, although he managed to push the margins in a number of other, often hilarious ways.
The special raffle draw saw prizes as varied as 20 cases of Budweiser beer, donated by our official suppliers and won by rowing writer Liz Wray (“Anyone have any suggestions what to do with all this beer?”), and a copy of Lawrence Dallaglio’s book (not so popular with guest Brian Ashton, by all accounts), and there was not even a cry of “fix” when one of our special guests, Lewis Hamilton, collected his third prize of the event when he won a top-of-the-range Ping golf putter in the draw.
What SJA member Pat Collins, of the Mail on Sunday, does with his raffle prize of a flying lesson in a vintage bi-plane, however, is yet to be determined.
Ripley, the former England and British Lions rugby international, has himself suffered from prostate cancer, and has spent the past couple of years prosletysing among “men of a certain age” on behalf of the charity, which was brought to the SJA’s attention as a deserving cause by Bill Elliott after he was diagnosed with the disease in what Ripley called his “great bit of kit”.
“We are delighted that the Sports Journalists’ Association chose the Prostate Cancer Charity as the benefiting charity from two awards ceremonies in 2007,” Claire Carlin, the Community Fundraising Manager for PCC, said.
“One man dies every hour from prostate cancer, the most common form of cancer in men. The SJA has raised almost Â£7,000 for the Prostate Cancer Charityâ€™s work, which is just fantastic. These funds will help us to provide men with prostate cancer with vital information and also help fund essential research into the disease. We are so grateful to the SJA for their support throughout 2007.”
The SJA committee will be considering carefully which charity to work alongside for its events in 2008, the Association’s 60th anniversary year.