Aberdeenshire children’s charity, Kayleigh’s Wee Stars (KWS), hosted their first ‘Million Pound Ball’ at Thainstone Centre, Inverurie, on Saturday, March 18. They raised a grand total of £34,000 on the night, which marked the charity’s 10th year and the milestone of raising £1million during that time.

KWS was set up in 2012 by Jonathan and Anna Cordiner after losing their two-year-old daughter Kayleigh to terminal illness. The charity provides financial support for families across Scotland, where a child has a terminal diagnosis.

Around 400 guests were welcomed by the Huntly Pipe Band on their arrival, and enjoyed a three-course meal and dancing to award-winning band, Splendid Gentlemen. A silent auction also contributed towards the night’s total.

Fiona Heinonen, KWS CEO, said: “The Million Pound Ball was a huge success, and we would like to thank all our supporters who joined us on the night, as well as our sponsors and all our partners who volunteered their time and expertise. In particular, I’d like to thank Louise Cruikshank, a long-time friend of KWS who helped to organise the Ball. I’d also like to give a shout-out to our sponsors, Luxe Scot, Bold St Media and Jasmine Group, as without all of these people the Ball simply wouldn’t have happened.

“We are very proud of what we have all achieved together in Kayleigh’s memory - the money raised provides vital financial support to families with a child with a terminal diagnosis, something which is more needed than ever in the current economic climate.”

Jonathan Cordiner, KWS co-founder and Kayleigh’s daddy, said, “When Kayleigh was diagnosed in December 2011, Anna and I took time off our jobs as teachers, and did our utmost to make her last few months as special and memorable as possible. However, we realise that not every family is in a position to do that, so we set up the charity in Kayleigh’s memory, to help relieve the financial pressure on other families like ours, at the most challenging time in their lives.

“Whilst Kayleigh's story is of course one of sadness, we are lucky to be able to focus on the positive encouragements and the important work that continues in her name. We draw comfort from the fact that Team KWS has helped many families across Scotland during that time. In fact, we were privileged to be joined by a number of families at the Ball who have been supported by the charity. They very courageously spoke about their experiences, and how KWS alleviated the burden of financial worry when their child was very ill.

“We would like to thank all of our loyal supporters who have helped us to do this over the past 10 years. From epic feats of cycling, running and hiking endurance, to fundraising events and individual donations, we never cease to be amazed and humbled by the generosity of spirit demonstrated by our supporters and partners.”

Learn more about Kayleigh’s Wee Stars at: www.kayleighsweestars.co.uk

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