Going Loop the Loopy for Charity
On Tuesday 3rd September, 14 brave and slightly crazy individuals strapped themselves to the top of an aerobatic plane doing aerial manoeuvres…why I hear you ask! Well it started a year ago at an Opendoorz meeting in Oxford. During a CPD session the question was posed ‘What’s on your bucket list, that you really want to do next year?’ In that moment, Cathy Dunbabin, one of our founding Directors decided to share her desire to Wing Walk!
But it wasn't enough for Cathy to just to do it! Cathy says "Over the years we have realised how privileged we are to have built a strong professional business network and how much good can come form galvanising its support". So within hours of deciding to do the Wing Walk, Cathy and her business partner, Sonia realised this could also be a wonderful way to support our 2019 charity SeeSaw by raising funds and creating awareness of their wonderful work. So, they set about inviting others to take part and within a couple of days 13 equally crazy people had agreed to join the challenge.
Jane Elliott, SeeSaw corporate fundraiser says: "SeeSaw, provides grief support for around 500 children and young people in Oxfordshire each year. The charity relies on the generosity of Oxfordshire businesses and the wider community to help raise funds to keep the charity going. This amazing event will make a huge contribution towards the cost of running the service and we feel so lucky to have this amazing support from the Oxfordshire business community."
To make sure as much money as possible was directed straight to the charity each participant was tasked with finding a local business to sponsor them to cover the actual cost of the Wing Walk - again the Opendoorz network was utilised. Each high-flyer then committed to raising a minimum of £500 in sponsorship. Huge thanks go to our wonderful members and business friends at Clarendon Business Centre, Royal Cars, Warpline Films, M40 Offices, MC Events, Zest Digital, Beechwood Solicitors, Sandra Homewood Funerals, Meridian Office Furniture, Xpress Legal and CLPM for their support in sponsoring one (or more!) of the Wing Walkers.
The event wasn't without its challenges; the first date in April was cancelled due to the planes engine’s blowing up (eeek!), the second date in June was cancelled due to an ancillary issue when fitting the new engine and then the third one postponed due to the plane not passing it’s ‘fit to fly’ inspection. So even if the 14 brave, crazy flyers weren’t nervous before they sure were by the time they climbed aboard!
Warpline Films also kindly offered to come along and film the whole event so we could have a promo video to leave with the charity should others decide to do the same event again and so the team will have a memento of the day.
Cathy laughs as she says, “Be careful what you wish for or at least what you share from your bucket list as you may just make it happen!”
Opendoorz are eternally grateful for others sharing this experience with Cathy and their magnificent efforts in raising funds, with the combined support from sponsors and the generosity of everyone who has donated. To date the total raised exceeds £16,000 and the donations are still coming in. Cathy says, “It’s amazing to be able to support Seesaw in this way - it truly demonstrates the power of having a great network around you and using it for more than just business.”
Jane Elliott, fundraiser for Seesaw adds “We are humbled to have such fantastic support from the Oxfordshire business community. Every penny that they raise help SeeSaw to support bereaved children and young people in Oxfordshire whose lives have been turned upside down because someone they love has died”.
The mad, fearless, generous wingwalkers who joined Cathy were Alex Minchin, Darren Jeffs, Karen Underwood, Karen Franklin, Nina Kearns, Beth Dunabin, Charlie, Sophie and Rebecca Laing, Adele Fowler, Hilary Fletcher, Helen Gill and Ben Kyriakou
If you’d like to donate and help us smash our £15k target please visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/cathy-dunbabin2