Bar patrons set to rise to the challenge

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patrons at the Ogilvy Bar in Kirriemuir are getting behind a local squaddie’s fund-raising efforts for Erskine Hospital.

But whilst Morgan Gilbert, who is currently serving with the British Army in Afghanistan, trains to run the West Highland Way in only two and a half days, the Ogilvy Bar staff and customers are planning their own ”Westmuir Way” challenge to help boost his funds, as well as other local causes.

Mine-host Tracy Douglas has organised the event for the May Day weekend of May 5 and 6.

It will co-incide with the Bon Scott Festival and it is hoped visitors to the town, as well as regulars, will support the major fund-raisers to help Erskine provide support and care for war veterans.

Over the years the Ogilvy customers have raised thousands of pounds for local causes. Between 2008 and 2011 they have donated £18,700 to local charities including Brownies, Cubs and Scouts, Lippen Care, Kirriemuir Day Care Centre, Help for Heroes, DD8 Music, the Relay for Life - but this time Tracy wanted to do something for our servicemen and women.

She said: “Morgan is from Kirriemuir and is a regular in the bar. He has served in the Army since 1999. He and his brother-in-law John Boyle, a solicitor from Dundee, are in training to run the West Highland Way, from Milngavie in Glasgow to Fort William starting on April 23.

“They will cover 96 miles. Most people take seven days to complete it, they are going to run it in two and a half days.

“Both Morgan and John were in my Relay for Life team last year and this is how we got involved. They are forever doing something for me, Morgan’s family are so caring and supportive, so we thought of ways of how we could help them.

“We are having the fund-raising weekend here in Kirriemuir. On the Saturday we will have a tombola stall, cake and candy raffle outside the bar (weather permitting), as well as sponsored teams who will complete the “Westmuir Way”. We need 14 people to walk the path network round by Westmuir and the total miles will add up to the 96 miles Morgan and John have run!”

The funds raised for Erskine Hospital will help provide residential nursing, respite care, dementia and palliative care, rehabilitation, physiotherapy, as well as speech and language therapy. Erskine cares and helps over 1300 ex-service and serving people throughout Scotland each year.

On the Sunday the Ogilvy will host its popular ‘Red Or Black’ event which offers the chance to win £100 cash with a further £100 going to charity.

As the Ogilvy’s weekend fund-raiser co-incides with Bon Scott Festival Tracy will also make a donation to DD8 Music, as well as to another major fund-raising effort which is also taking place.

She continued: “I am hoping to raise over £1,000 over the weekend and will also make a donation to the Kate Simpson Cancer Fund at Bristol.

“Kate’s daughters, Ruth and Ailsa Simpson, are staff members here. Ruth is climbing Ben Nevis and Ailsa is doing the Westmuir Way!”

To sponsor Morgan’s efforts on the “Running All The Way” challenge visit www.justgiving.comjohnboyle

Anyone wishing to make up the team of 14 to complete the seven and a half mile course of the Westmuir Way can contact Tracy at the Ogilvy Bar.