Over £10,000 raised for CLAN in memory of Aberchirder woman

A big-hearted group of friends and family has paid tribute to a much-loved Aberchirder woman by helping raise over £10,000 for a north-east cancer support charity.

Wendy Gray, 49, passed away from cancer in January this year, seven months before she celebrated her 50th birthday.

After previously expressing a desire to plan a party to mark the occasion, a group of friends and family decided to honour Wendy’s wishes by holding a day of celebration, on August 25, in her honour.

Her sister-in-law Maria Esslemont organised an evening disco, raffle and auction at the Fife Lodge in Banff and friend Brenda King organised a coffee morning in Aberchirder, with all proceeds from the two events being donated to CLAN Cancer Support.

Both events saw hundreds of people come together to honour Wendy, helping raise over £10,000 for the charity. The impressive total was boosted even further after local man James McKinnon donated a further £440 raised through an annual golf outing.

Maria Esslemont was delighted that so many people turned out to give a fitting tribute to such a popular lady.

She said: “Following her diagnosis, Wendy had spoken about her plans for her 50th birthday. She loved to party and I’m sure she would have had a fantastic night.

“We decided to hold a day to honour Wendy on the week of what would have been her 50th birthday. Her friend Brenda held a coffee morning in Aberchirder and then I organised a disco in Banff later on in the day. At the disco, we had over 300 people attend; it was truly fantastic and it was great to see so many people turn out to remember Wendy.

“Wendy had stayed at the CLAN Haven in Aberdeen twice while undergoing her treatment and really did think it was a wonderful facility for people affected by cancer. We’re delighted to be able to hand over this total and it’s great to support a charity that does so much great work across the north-east of Scotland.”

Lucy Whiteman, CLAN’s services manager, said: “Maria has shown such incredible passion by involving her family, friends and community in paying tribute to Wendy Gray.

“The funds raised will support the continuation of CLAN cancer support services in the north east of Scotland.”

CLAN Cancer Support is an independent charity which provides comfort support and information, free of charge, for anyone, of any age, affected by any type of cancer. CLAN aims to support people to reduce anxiety, stress and to increase their ability to cope with the effects of a serious illness.

Based in Aberdeen, the charity covers the whole of north-east Scotland, Moray, Orkney and Shetland. CLAN has a presence in Ballater, Banchory, Elgin, Inverurie, Fraserburgh, Peterhead, Stonehaven, Kirkwall and Lerwick.

For further information about CLAN Cancer Support please call (01224) 647 000 or visit

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