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Celebrity bone pictures to be auctioned for charity
9:00am Tuesday 19th February 2013 in News
CELEBRITIES from the world of sport, film, fashion and music have got involved in a Swindon man’s unique attempt to raise money for charity.
Mark Heasman, 24, of the town centre, came up with the idea of getting famous people to draw bones and auctioning them off for the Anthony Nolan charity, while on a night out.
Over the past three years, Mark, an accountant, has raised about £20,000 for the blood cancer charity, after his friend Jamie Griggs died from leukaemia at the age of 23.
Mark later found that Jamie had left a note asking his friends and family to support the charity.
But after taking part in various runs and other events, Mark came up with the latest fundraiser, dubbed Bone Idol, and has been overwhelmed by the response.
Celebrities including Mo Farah, visual artists Jake and Dino Chapman, Sir Bob Geldof, Sir Steven Redgrave, Joanna Lumley and Kevin Spacey have all got involved, among others.
“I never in a million years thought we would get the response that we have had,” said Mark.
“I can’t remember when I came up with the idea, I think I was drunk on a night out. I didn’t expect to hear back from anyone but we have had a fantastic response.
“I’d been told that some of the celebrities that have got involved don’t even sign autographs for fans, so it’s brilliant.
“We are hoping to raise a few thousand pounds. I’ve done running events before and am running the Great North Run for Anthony Nolan later in the year.”
Mark has received more than 30 bone drawings, including Susan Boyle’s ‘funny bone’, Adam Ant’s ‘love bone’, Chris Martin’s ‘Coldplay’ bone and Nick Frost’s ‘cowboy bone’.
“My favourite is the Chapman brothers’ piece, it’s amazing. I’m a big fan of them and that is the one we are expecting to make the most money because it is an original drawing by them,” said Mark.
“Joanna Lumley’s bone and Sir Steve Redgrave's rowing bone are brilliant, too.
“I hope Jamie would think we were thinking outside of the box – I am sure if he was here he would be bored of sponsoring me by now anyway!”
Jayne Cromwell, head of regional fundraising at Anthony Nolan, said: “This is an incredibly innovative fundraising project – we’ve never seen anything quite like it.
“It costs the charity £100 to recruit each potential donor onto the bone marrow register, so fundraising makes a huge difference to our work.
“The more money we can raise, the more matches we can make, and the more lives we can save.”
The drawings will be auctioned on eBay from 9pm this Thursday and will end on Sunday, March 3 at 9pm.
Go to the Bone Idol Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ BoneIdol2013#!/BoneIdol2013 to keep up to date with the auction.