Highland gathering group to raise funds for two good causes

Retired policeman Jim Mitchell selected Friends of Anchor to benefit.

Organisers of a historic Highland gathering are set to host a fundraiser for two North-east charities.

The Lonach Highland and Friendly Society, which arranges the annual Lonach Highland Gathering and Games, is to hold a party later this month to raise cash for Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis and Friends of Anchor.

The Halfway to Lonach event also marks five months until the society’s next Highland Games on August 25.

The fundraiser will take place at Lonach Hall, Strathdon, on March 31.

Jennifer Stewart, the society’s chief executive, said: “It is shaping up to be a great night.

“Community cohesion and charitable giving are deeply rooted in the 195-year history of the Lonach Highland and Friendly Society and the Halfway to Lonach Party is an excellent way to continue these traditions beyond our annual gathering in August.”

The charities have been chosen by people associated with the society.

Retired policeman Jim Mitchell, known as the ‘bobby on the bike’ because of his annual escorting of the march of the Lonach Highlanders on his 1930s police bike, selected Friends of Anchor after being diagnosed with leukaemia in 2004.

Mr Mitchell is also set to take part in his own fundraising effort, again for Friends of Anchor, when he cycles part of the 100km Etape Loch Ness cycling event on his old school bike.

James McIntosh, a Lonach highlander, chose to raise money for Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis following a recent double lung transplant.

Ms Stewart said: “It is fitting that we are supporting two charities that have a close personal connection to two individuals who have played their own important roles in the society and local community over the years.

“We look forward to welcoming a good crowd to the Lonach Hall and raising a significant amount for Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis and Friends of Anchor.”

The Halfway to Lonach party will feature music from local band The Fundamentals, a raffle and other enter-tainment. Tickets cost £12, and can be bought by e-mailing info@lonach.org