The organ fund team has lost a much loved and valued member of our group: the lovely Sylvia, who has come up with so many great and enjoyable ways to raise funds for the organ, died quite unexpectedly in her sleep at the weekend after a short illness.
Sylvia joined the group at the very beginning, in 2006, and from the start was brimming with ideas to raise money. She had retail experience, so although long since retired, was always keen to apply her knowledge of what people are interested in paying for and how to encourage them to part with some cash for a good cause. She quickly became my friend, and lifted my spirits many times when our fund-raising goal seemed like an impossible target. The Golden Spot Tombola was her brainchild, as was the Piano keyboard raffle and the Sing-along-a-lorra-Songs themed Musical Bite, which has been successful every season. She knitted scarves to sell, was an ace at collecting prizes for Tombola and Raffle and got a relative to make a Christmas Cake for us to Raffle at the Christmas Fayre 2011. She had some great plans for the Golden Spot Tombola for this coming December and I am determined we'll carry them out in her honour. I am glad she saw phase 1 of the organ work done and will always wish that she could be with us to see the whole job completed.
Sylvia was last able to help with fund-raising at our January Musical Bite, which quite fittingly was the third time we'd done the Sing-along. The weather this winter and her health has prevented her joining us for the subsequent Musical Bites, though she did attend our most recent organ fund meeting.
Reflecting on Sylvia's immense contribution to the organ fund and our group has brought home to me how much it is the friendships that we've made and strengthened during our time as fund-raisers that have become the most valuable aspect of our activities. The organ fund group worship together and work together as a team, each of us contributing different and special gifts along with our willingness to work hard to arrange some really memorable musical events for the enjoyment of the parish and beyond. As we continue to raise money to restore the Willis organ, we'll have many reminders of what Sylvia has done during the past 6 years.
Rest in Peace Sylvia and thank you for all that you've done as a friend and organ fund group member. Anna