MUSIC shop owner Alan Holmes has hit the £50,000 mark in his unstinting efforts to raise funds for a charity which supports the families of children suffering from a rare disease.
A recent black tie evening in Swindon chalked up £6,000 for the coffers of the Goldenhar Family Support Group which helps people across the UK whose lives have been hit by a birth defect syndrome.
Alan, 50, became involved with the charity after his grandson Morgan Sharpe was born in 2007 with a condition which left him with a missing ear and eye.
Since then he has become an active fundraiser for the group, organising a string of events in and around Swindon which have seen thousands of people contribute to the cause.
A member of the Holmes Music family business which runs the largest shop of its kind in the town, Alan has extensively used his contacts within the music business to either stage or become involved in events in aid of the charity.
During the past six years assorted concerts and shows have seen a wide range of musicians – from rock and pop to jazz and folk – perform in aid of the charity.
In 2008 various local musicians posed naked – along with their strategically positioned instruments – for a cheeky calendar in support of Goldenhar.
He hit the £50,000 landmark during the year in which Holmes Music, whose shop is in Faringdon Road, celebrated its Golden Anniversary – the business having been founded by his father John in 1963.
Alan said: “The Goldenhar Family Support Group is obviously close to my heart. So many people have supported these events over the years in various ways – it’s been fantastic.”
The latest charity gig saw a 20-piece big band perform at The Golden Ball 2013 at St Joseph’s Catholic College.
The occasion also involved 20 “amazing prizes” auctioned off following donations from Swindon firms and individuals.
The show was organised by Nathan Jones All Stars Big Band in conjunction with Holmes Music, raising a total £6,100.
Alan said: “I would like to thank Nathan Jones and the All Stars for again supporting Goldenhar as the chosen charity. There were so many people and companies that donated prizes for the raffle – and I cannot thank them enough for supporting the event.”
Nathan said: “This is becoming an annual event that is fantastically supported. It’s the perfect opportunity for guests to get their dancing shoes on and raise some money for a great cause at the same time.”
Robert Groocock, chairman of the Stafforshire-based Goldenhar group, said the big band show marked a personal landmark for Alan, who had become an important fundraiser for the organisation.
He said: “Alan is an advocate for the charity and we cannot thank him, and people like Nathan for choosing Goldenhar as their chosen charity, enough.”
Westlea School pupil Morgan, now six, of Middleleaze, Swindon has undergone several major operations after being born with a number of abnormalities.
l Goldenhar Syndrome is an umbrella term for a wide range of bone abnormalities affecting the face and sometimes the vertebrae with no known cause. It is thought to affect around 75 children in the UK.
Further information on the charity and the syndrome can be found at www.goldenhar.org.uk