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by Anne Graham - 16:06 on 16 October 2013


Forfar’s 7 year old Eythan Galloway has given a huge welcome to the start of preparations for next year’s Angus Rotary Marafun. This will be held on Sunday 25th May 2014 when runners from all over Angus and further afield will compete in a fun race around Forfar’s town centre. As well as having a sporting chance to pick up the overall winner’s medal, runners young and old will once again raise thousands for the Ninewells Cancer Campaign as well as many other worthwhile local charities.

7 year old Eythan, a sufferer of Spinal Muscular Atrophy became the latest beneficiary of the 2012 Marafun when he picked up a cheque for £500 towards a replacement “Snapdragon” power chair from Forfar Rotary President Scott Ballantyne in association with Marafun sponsor Guild Homes (Tayside) Ltd.

Eythan suffers from a weakness in his muscles and is dependent on a range of specialist equipment for seating, standing, bathing, toileting and sleeping. He keeps mobile with the help of a unique power chair he calls “Snappy” which has helped him become a fun loving confident and outgoing youngster. However, this unique chair must now be replaced and his family have almost raised the mammoth £18,000 cost of a new chair that will help him through the next five years.

Eythan’s father Ryan Galloway said “Marafun is clearly more than just a fun day for Forfar. The money raised by rotary clubs, by the various business sponsors and by the teams, gives people like Eythan a wonderful boost.” In Eythan’s case the £18,000 needed is a mammoth figure but Ryan continued “it is hard to put a price on the mobility that Snappy gives Eythan in his daily life. So the £500 donation from Forfar Rotary Club’s Marafun proceeds was a huge step towards our goal and is a wonderful boost not just for Eythan but for the whole family. So we would certainly encourage as many people, organisations and teams as possible to get involved in next year’s Marafun which I’m sure will help to make a real difference for numerous other recipients who will ultimately benefit from the money raised by Angus Rotary clubs.”

Mark and Robin Guild of Guild Homes (Tayside) Ltd, the main sponsor of Marafun since its inception in 2002 have been quick off their marks to snap up a gold sponsorship package for the “Overall Winner” of next year’s event. Mark Guild, Managing Director of Guild Homes said today “this is an event where everyone is a winner. As well as being a real test of stamina for the runners, the carnival atmosphere creates a wonderful experience for everyone involved. It’s also fantastic to know that as well as having a great family fun day out, the money raised and distributed to local charities makes a real difference to people’s lives.”

President Scott Ballantyne added “every penny raised by Marafun will go to the main Ninewells Cancer Campaign as well as to local charities. In this way we can help Ninewells to beat the cancer menace as well as helping wonderful people like Eythan enjoy a better quality of life.”

Angus Rotary Marafun Convener Dave Valentine said “Eythan’s story is an inspiration for all of us to get involved. We are hoping that even more companies throughout Angus will help us to raise even more cash by sponsoring this event”

“As in our five previous Marafuns, we are encouraging teams to help us raise cash for our main charity – which is the Ninewell’s Cancer Campaign. However, local clubs and groups have the choice of raising sponsorship for their own local charity or voluntary organisation. In this way everyone that runs or gets involved is a winner and Eythan’s story highlights just how important this event is for the whole community.”

Any firms, running teams or individuals who would like to become involved are asked to contact Marafun convener Dave Valentine on 01307 466325 or by making contact through the website www.forfarrotary.org.uk where more event details will emerge over the next few months.

Photocall of Eythan receiving a £500 cheque from Forfar Rotary President Scott Ballantyne in association with Mark and Robin Guild, Directors of Guild Homes (Tayside) Ltd.

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