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Southport Triathlon 21 May 2017

About 10 years ago I added doing a triathlon to my bucket list. At the time, I thought I probably wouldn’t get it done. So, at the ripe old age of 61 I ended up putting my name forward for the Southport Sprint Triathlon (750-meter open water swim 20k bike ride and a 5k run) and some 6 months later I completed it without stopping and in an reasonable ish time which I was extremely pleased about.

Up until the day of the event I wasn’t sure if I would complete it as many old injuries seemed to surface while I was training  but worst of all about a week before the event I did something to my shoulder and an old injury  flared up( I should have had sorted years ago). The Monday before the event I honestly thought I wouldn’t be able to do the swim (which was my strongest event by the way). I didn’t do any training all that week just rested and luckily it paid off.

The day of the Event.

So, this was my first triathlon and accompanied by my darling wife we made our way to Southport. Up at silly o’clock to get there for 06:30hrs to get set up. It was a cold morning as I put my (or our Tony’s) wet suit on and thought this water is going to be freezing. We made our way to the lake for the safety brief with the rest of my group. Before the race started Jeanette took the obligatory pics as I shivered. A few minutes later as i walked in I found out that the water was indeed absolutely freezing. The lake in Southport marina isn’t the cleanest in the world and the mud at the bottom is pretty awful. The race started. and 18 min 55 secs later (which was pretty good for me) I got out of the water to Jeanette shouting well done Dave. Then it was off to transition.

Getting that bloody wet suit off and your riding gear on when you can’t feel your hands isn’t easy as the 8-min transition 1 time attests but I did it in the end.

There was a strong breeze on the bike ride coming off the sea but 46 min later the 20k was complete and with a much shorter transition time of 3:38.

Off the bike and in to the run my legs felt a little uncertain at first as I tried to get a rhythm going. The run was tougher than I thought but I got it done in 25:47 which once again I was very pleased with.  My objective for this triathlon was nothing more than to complete it without stopping which I did so full marks to me for achieving my objective.

A few words about my beautiful wife Jeanette. She came with me as I said earlier and took all the pics but she was also there at the transitions and the start and end of each event encouraging me and shouting me on. She was literally all over the place. It meant a lot to me and kept me going when I was feeling the pace. Thank you my for being there once again. 

So this was all in aid of our Worried About My Daddy Alzheimer’s appeal and we raised £171 in cash and £250 through just giving(£421) which brings our grand total so far to £19,685 which is only £315 short of out £20,000 objective. Getting really close now watch this space!!!

Some big thank you’s:

Jeanette for all the encouragement on the day, for taking the pics and for putting up with all the training and shenanigans that went along with it.

Everyone who sponsored me for the event especially those who have sponsored me time and time again over the last few years for this fantastic cause.

Craig for lending me his bike to do the ride

Tony for lending me his wet suit.

The guys at Total fitness who encouraged me to do the event and gave me loads of tips and support.

Funnyman Seth Rogen attacks US Senators for WALKING OUT of his emotional Capitol Hill plea about Alzheimer’s,

 

 

Funnyman Seth Rogen attacks US Senators for WALKING OUT of his emotional Capitol Hill plea about Alzheimer’s, based on mother-in-law’s struggle with illness

    • The 31-year-old actor’s mother-in-law suffers from early onset Alzheimer’s
    • Rogen made the trip to Capitol Hill to convince Congress to funnel more money toward fighting the disease
    • While he began with jokes, the actor took to Twitter by the end to call out Senators who left early or failed to show up
    • Only two Senators of the 18 on the subcommittee stayed for the movie star’s testimony
    • Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois thanked Rogen for his speech in a tweet…but he didn’t even stay to hear it

Seth Rogen showed up to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to give an emotional address about Alzheimer’s disease, but his sadness soon turned to ire as he watched Congress members leave the already nearly empty hearing.’All those empty seats are senators who are not prioritizing Alzheimer’s,’ the normally jovial Rogen tweeted following the hearing.

He followed up his speech with an appearance on Hardball in which he again called out the 16 Senators who ducked out early or failed to even show up to his speech.

 

Th’Unknown do it again in style!

On the December 9th 2016 Th’Unknown were back rockin’ it at the Ashton Labour Club in aid of the ‘Worried About My Daddy’ Alzheimer’s Appeal. 

Now, Friday 9th December turned out to be a cold, wet, miserable winters night and not the type of night to be venturing out…. you would think. Ha! Unless of course you are going to the local Labour Club to enjoy fine wine / beer, a cracking hot-pot supper and fantastic music. An amazing turnout of 120 people packed into the Ashton Labour Club to watch Th’Unknown performed two sets.  The first set included lots of pop and rock tunes and the second set was dedicated to well-known Christmas favorites. All were extremely well received by the audience who, by the second set, were up singing, dancing and having a fine old time. In fact the dance floor was jam packed way past the final encore. A testimony to a fantastic night both from the bands perspective and the crowd.

A fantastic £671 was raised for the ‘Worried About My Daddy’ Alzheimer’s Appeal bringing our total to a fantastic £18,290 against our target of £20,000. Boy it’s getting close now!! 

If anyone would care to donate to help us across that final hurdle please go to our Just Giving page at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/worriedaboutmydaddy If you would like further information about Alzheimer’s Disease please check out our blog at: http://worriedaboutmydaddy.com/ 

A massive THANKS to everyone involved in the event, from those who helped on the night with the set-up, ticket sales, raffle and the delicious hot-pot supper etc. Special thanks also goes to Taiye Lopez for taking the amazing photos for the Blog and to Tony Ward for all the time he put in to organizing the event.  Well done once again to Th’Unknown (Bill Edwards, Tony Danson, Mike Pines, Dave Grant, Roger Ennis, Steve Hitchen, Graham Vernon, and Tony Ward with arrangement and production by Mark Goulding)  for a fantastic night of music and dance and of course to everyone who turned out on a very inhospitable night and those who donated to this fantastic cause.

The band are looking to do a few more gigs this year so keep your eyes peeled as tickets will go fast. As soon as we know when I’ll post on the Blog and on Facebook.

Check out the pics below:  

      Letter of thanks from the Alzheimer’s Society

THE FADE Worried About My Daddy Gig 12 August 2016

On the 12th August 2016 a rather special event took place in aid of the “Worried About My Daddy” Alzheimer’s appeal. A well know Wigan band The Fade agreed to do a one off come- back gig to help support the cause. A tremendous amount of work and preparation went in to the night which was a raging success. Some of the details and pictures of the night are outlined below:

A little bit of history and the chain of events

The Fade were an established indie group formed in the mid 1990’s inspired by what was a special time in British music culture. Playing covers and original music on the Northwest gig scene The Fade had a good loyal following and played to packed crowds wherever they went.

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In 2006 the band went their separate ways with three of the four members moving down to London. The band remained good friends and met regularly over the years between then and 2016. Each time the band met up they would reminisce about the good times on the road gigging and the hours they spent practicing in the studio creating their own quality songs. They always discussed that one day a reunion gig should take place.

Christmas 2015 the band met for a few beers as they did every Christmas and discussed a 10-year anniversary gig the following year. The band were already aware of the “Worried About My Daddy” as Paul, the lead singer, is the son of one the original campaign organisers, Chris Ward. The Band members all agreed that the gig should take place in a bid to raise more funds for the cause.

In January 2016 discussions took place with Jonny Davenport and Dave Jenkins who are good friends of the band and are now the directors of the Old Courts Music Venue in Wigan town centre. The lads kindly agreed that because the gig was for charity the venue could be hired for a minimal fee just to cover costs. All bands members checked their diaries for the year and agreed on 12th August 2016. The venue was booked and the gig was on!

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Over the coming months many discussions took place and eventually a final set list was agreed. They would play eleven 90’s indie classics by the likes of The Charlatans, Shed Seven, Ocean Colour Scene etc. plus, of course, three original The Fade songs; Red Bonfire, To The Sun and Live for The Weekend. Colin (drummer), Alex (guitar) and Steve (bass) rehearsed in London regularly working on the musical and structural elements of the songs. Videos of rehearsals were recorded and sent back to Paul (singer) to familiarize himself with song structure etc.

Whilst the band were rehearsing down south Paul and Jonny worked on the marketing, ticket and poster creation and Facebook event page and eventually ticket distribution once the bookings started rolling in.

Paul also spoke with their past manager Chris Devany in relation to becoming part of the night, which he jumped at. Chris had extensive experience of fundraising and hosting successful events. With this being a charity night other acts were required to make it a full evening and a band called The Lines agreed to support The Fade. Also, Jeff Critchley, one of Paul’s cousins agreed to do his first ever stand-up comedy routine. Other money raising ideas were discussed and an auction and raffle was decided. Companies such as local football clubs, restaurants, gym etc. were approached and prizes consisting of meals out, football stadium tours, match tickets, a holiday, tools, gym passes etc. were all donated.

With the band members having lots of commitments during the months leading up to the gig a risky strategy of getting together one weekend in August was agreed for 3 days of intensive rehearsals at a studio in London. Paul travelled to London where rehearsals went very well as the band naturally clicked back together.

August the 12th 2016 finally arrived where ticket sales reached just under 200 and so the Old Courts in Wigan started to fill up to a fantastic atmosphere. The Compere and Auctioneer for the night Chris Deveney (or Dev to his friends) did an amazing job. The auction was a huge success! The Lines did a great set and were very entertaining and got the crowd warmed up for things to come. Many thanks to them for their support we all enjoyed their music so much.

 

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Dev next introduced Jeff Critchley who did a very brave thing, for the very first time he did a short stand-up comedy routine. Never the easiest thing to do I’m sure you’ll agree but Jeff stepped up to the mark, did it in his own inimitable style and got some great laughs. Well done Jeff for putting yourself on the line in aid of this great cause.

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Dev then drew the raffle and the lucky winners received their prizes. Again a huge thank you for the various sponsors who donated.

And so, as The Fade waited to go on stage everyone packed into the main room at the Old Courts. Dev introduced the band: Alex Fordham – Guitar & backing vocals, Colin Oldfield – Drums & Percussion, Steve Jones – Bass and Paul Ward – Lead Vocals.  For the first time in 10 years The Fade were on stage once again and were watched by over 200 people.

It was a true testimony to The Fade that the gig took place at all considering the obstacles they faced about band members living in opposite ends of the country, issues with rehearsals, commuting all members, having to go to work and a whole plethora of other stuff.

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The lads hadn’t lost their touch though and bashed out some old covers and a series of their own songs. It was a tremendous spectacle to watch them all pull together and recreate their sound from the past.  The crowd were singing along to the old anthems and the night just got better and better.  This was a fantastic show from The Fade. Their performance was pitch perfect and a credit to their musical skill, determination and passion considering they had not played together for 10 years. AWESOME!!

A whopping £1419.87 was raised after all fees and costs deducted and it was a fantastic night for the “Worried about My Daddy” Charity.  This brings our total to £17,604.87 just £2,395.13 away from out target of £20,000.

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More Pics of the gig are below why not check them out! If you would like to donate, please click here to go to our Just Giving Page. Thank you.

The WAMD team would like to thank everyone involved in making this such a successful event. 

Jonny Davenport – Director Old Courts
Dave Jenkins – Director Old Courts
Christopher Devany – Compere, Auctioneer – Marketing, liaison

The Lines 

Jeff Critchly

Everyone involved in helping with tickets and at the venue on the night, Everyone who attended the gig and made it such a great night.

And of course the fantastic Fade whose drive, commitment and determination made it all happen! 

Paul ward – Lead Vocalist,
Alex Fordham – Guitar, backing vocals,
Colin Oldfield – Drums, Percussion
Steve Jones – bass

 Images from the GIG

 

 

The Liverpool Cathedral Abseil 2016 £295 Raised

So, we got this call from Steph (our contact at Alzheimer’s Society HQ in Warrington) asking us if we would like to take part in the Liverpool Cathedral 2016 Abseil. Steph that the abseil had come up and she thought it was right up my street. “You betcha!” says I. “I’m in!” I gave big-brother Chris a call and he said “yep” straight away. I then rang little brother Tony but, unfortunately, he was on holiday on the date of the event – 30th July 2016. Oh well, that’s how it goes kidder! So it was set, the Liverpool Cathedral Abseil was on.

So Chris & I busied ourselves getting sponsors and preparing ourselves psychologically for the big day. I jumped off a couple off high steps and Chris went up a really high ladder. We were ready, bring it on!

ALZ Abseil0530th July arrived and we headed down to the Cathedral for our specified abseil time of 17:30 hrs. We arrived early to take in the atmosphere and watch others taking the plunge so to speak down the front of the Cathedral. The first thing that struck me was how bloody high it was. The second thing was we still had over half an hour to wait until it was our turn. This in itself wasn’t that bad as there was lot’s going on at the event. There were six of us altogether including me and Chris. Jeanette, Zoe, Nelson and Lynn came along to cheer us on and act as our camera crew. Lots of other people were there supporting their friends and family members so there was a great atmosphere and we had plenty of time cheer others on and crack those awful abseiling jokes.

The time went by quite quickly, no-one had fallen, which was extremely reassuring, when finally, our turn came. I didn’t feel nervous at all getting kitted up with the helmet and the harness, although not so sure about Chris. He looked cool as a cucumber though which was probably due to his time in the Fire Service running up and down those ladders. We were then directed into the cathedral for our ascent to the top with cheers of “good luck!”

ALZ Abseil15A quick trip in the lift up a floor or two and then up a set of pretty narrow steps to the top of the cathedral. There was a small queue of people going out and getting harnessed up. There were two ladies in front of us who were extremely brave. I don’t know their names but they were pretty scared by all of this and were having second thoughts about actually completing the abseil. In the end with a little coaxing and reassurance they did it so well done to them.

It was coming up to our turn and were informed that we would have to go down separately which was not our plan at all. We explained to the lady who was pre-prepping everyone that we had flown in from New York that morning to do the abseil on this world renowned heritage site and that we really did need to go over the top together as people were taking pictures of us. “Flew in from New York?” she said. “Honest, yep” says I with all the sincerity in the world. “747 earlier today. This means so much to us” I added. “You’re kidding?” she says. Next thing Chris pipes up it was actually Chicago we flew in from. Just then her partner says “Even if they are kidding they should go together for just for stringing a line like that”. What a guy! “Okay you go together” she says “get ready”.

Before we knew it there’s a guy doing a second check on our harness and ropes and explaining the fundamentals of how to use the abseiling gear. Then we were stepping out. Chris went out first and waited for me to come a minute later. The view was amazing. It was a clear day and the whole of Merseyside was on view. We leaned out and the official photographer took our pics.

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Our descent was slow as we took everything in. We stopped (or dangled) for snaps as Jeanette and Lynn clicked away below. As we got close we could hear music and as I recall it was a Queen number, Another one bites the Dust. Not the best song to abseil to but we had a good laugh about it. Far too soon we were down and it was all over. We had done it and what an experience it was too.

A special thanks to everyone on the day for organizing the event especially the abseiling staff, they were great. We felt extremely safe from the moment we put the harness on. Also a big thank you to everyone who donated to this event. We raised a fantastic £ 300 for the Alzheimer’s Society. This brings our total to £14,474 so we are now getting close to our Fund Raising objective of £20,000.

More Pics From The Abseil

Donations break-down:

£190 cash (big thanks to those Total Fitness Guys)

reciept

£110 through Justgiving big thanks to everyone who donated on-line.

This gives us a total of £300 donated for the event which is slightly different to the amount above because of late donations through Justgiving

Thanks once again to everyone for your continued support over the years  If you would like to donate, please follow this link https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/worriedaboutmydaddy to our Just Giving Page.

Those Travellin Strings dudes have done it again!

A busy November and December for the Travelin Strings with their 2016 Christmas Fund Raising Gigs! On the run up to Christmas 2016 the Famous Travelin Strings took part in a number of fund raising events in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society.  In all the Strings did 6 shows and raised a total of £627.01 for the Alzheimer’s Society which is absolutely fantastic.  This brings The WAMD grand total so far to an awesome £13,859.40

The gang celebrated the Christmas period playing a selection of well-known Christmas tunes to packed audiences and raised a fantastic £627.01 for the Alzheimer’s society over this period.

The Strings played the following venues over the Christmas Period

Banneys Fish Chip Restaurant Nelson 2nd Nov 2015 = £17.50

St Johns Wingates Christmas Fair Westhoughton 7th Nov 2015 = £60.25

The Shed Chumoor Bolton 20 Nov 2015 = £20

Bolton Market Place 5th Dec 2015 = £401.14

Westhoughton Market Hall 12 Dec 2015 = £88.12

Thurstons Sheltered Accommodation  16th Dec 2015 = £40

The WAMD team would just like to say a massive, massive thank you to the members of the Travelin Strings for the time, effort and energy that they have consistently displayed supporting the Alzheimer’s cause.  Your support is also very much appreciated by the Alzheimer’s Society, those with Alzheimer’s disease and those taking care of loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

Click to change picture

Receipts 

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WAMD Movember 2016

This year the gang of three, Chris, Dave and Tony agreed to the Movember Challenge in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society.  Chris also asked two of the parishioners from St John Fisher Church in Kearsley, Mike Curless and Peter Middleton to join us. 

Bravely against protestations and looks of total horror from family and friends we started the challenge.  Looking clean shaven and respectable at first we got down to the serious work of growing our beards and muzzy’s.  Dave went for the full beard look (or Captain Birdseye as he was called) and everyone else adopted mustaches El-Gringo style.  Whilst the growing of beards and muzzy’s is uncomfortable and irritating this was a small price to pay for the support and good wishes we received from family and friends whilst doing it.  As you can see from the photos we all managed to achieve our goals in one form or another concluding Movember with either a snazzy looking El-gringo mustache or a suave looking beard. A total of £571 (this includes Some just giving donations) was raised through the Movember Event which is absolutely outstanding. This brings our WAMD total to a fantastic £13,183.30 for the Alzheimer’s Society so far. Pretty Awesome!!!

Special thanks go out to Peter Middleton and his family.  Peter had been ill for some time but towards the end of November was admitted to Bolton Hospice.  Sadly, Peter passed away in December. We sincerely appreciate Peter’s bravery and his support for the Alzheimer’s cause and our thoughts and prayers go out to Peter’s family at this very sad time.

The Gang of Five!

Chris & Peter
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Chris & Mike
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Chris Dave & Tony
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Receipt To Follow:

Movember 2015 receipts

Movember 2015 Dave

 

 

 

 

 

 

Th’Unknown are back with a bang!!

A few years ago a group of guys got together to learn to play guitar at evening class at a local School and ended up forming a group called the Th’Unknown.  Last year they did their first gig to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society.  On the 20th November 2015 they played their second gig to a packed house at the Bryn Labour Club, Ashton in Makerfield in Wigan.

 

The band, consisting of Tony Ward, Tony Danson, Dave Grant, Roger Ennis, Mike Jones, Bill Edwards, Graham Vernon, Steve Hitchen and producer and guru Mark Goulding have worked tirelessly over the past few months to perfect their set.  Their blood sweat and tears paid off on Friday night with a stella performance to a packed crowd.

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More Pics Below

A fantastic £665 was raised from ticket sales, a hot-pot supper and a raffle which was all donated to the Alzheimer’s Society to help in their battle against Alzheimer’s disease.

This brings our ‘Worried About My Daddy’ Alzheimer’s campaign total to a massive £13,204.60.

Please visit our Just Giving Page at:                             https://www.justgiving.com/worriedaboutmydaddy to see the latest updates and/or to make a donation.

It was a fantastic evening of entertainment and humour and a brilliant time was had by all.  We would like to give a massive thanks to Tony Ward for organizing the event and Th’Unknown for all their hard work over the past few months.  We would also like to thank everyone helping out on the night. Special mention to Taiye Lopez http://colourasmile.com for some fantastic photos, a selection of which are below.

 

Best Wishes
The Worried About My Daddy  Team
 

Liverpool To Chester Bike Ride 2015

On Sunday 5th July 2015 me and my Brother Tony did the Liverpool to Chester Biker Ride.   We completed the 56 miles 3:43 which is pretty good for us. it was a great day and we were both knackered but it was after all for a  for a great cause The Alzheimer’s Society.  We raised a fantastic £560 which breaks down as £480 cash and £80 through our Just Giving page https://www.justgiving.com/worriedaboutmydaddy  . Our new total is £12,491.40 were getting closer to our £20,000 goal.  Thanks to everyone who has donated so far please help us to continue to our goal.

Before The Ride in Liverpool

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Half way there The Countess of Chester Hospital Chester

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Back in Liverpool with a well deserved Medal!

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 Receipt for Cash paid in the Alzheimer’s Society

 Llierpool to Chester Bike Ride