Family smash cash target

Rachel Appolinari
Rachel Appolinari

A GLITZY fundraising event is to be staged in Edinburgh in memory of Queensferry teenager Rachel Appolinari.

The event at the Capital Hotel on Sunday, November 20, has been organised by Rachel’s family to help raise funds for the Neuro Oncology Unit at the Western General Hospital.

The black tie dinner, which is already sold out, will feature Rachel’s passion for fashion and music and will be hosted by former Pop Idol winner and TV presenter Michelle McManus.

Following Rachel’s sudden death in August, weeks after her brain tumour diagnosis, the Appolinari family vowed to raise cash through a memorial fund for the neuro-oncology unit in recognition of the care she received at the Western General.

To date Rachel’s Justgiving webpage, has raised over £15,000 but additional funding has been pouring in from all over.

This week Rachel’s father Steve said: “The family have been overwhelmed at the generosity of everyone. There have been hundreds of people getting involved in charity work for Rachel. As well as the £15,000 that has been raised through donations to the Justgiving memorial fund, there has also been several thousand pounds raised whereby the money has been given directly to the hospital unit.”

The fundraising activities that people have been involved in include groups of Rachel’s former classmates and friends taking part in the Edinburgh 5k and 10K and fun runs; a charity football match between Hibeernian AFC and Hibs Legends; £4300 raised by Rachel’s work colleagues at HSBC in Edinburgh and London; and a dance and a bag pack at Tesco in Queensferry also generated in the region of £800.

Steve said there are still several fundraising events in the offing, including a sponsored weight loss at his workplace Fife Creamery, and a Swishing event organised by the Queensferry WRI.

He said: “We set an initial target of £20,000 but it now looks like we will raise much more, the Capital Hotel event is likely to raise £10,000 alone.”

The family vow that they will continue to raise funds for the cancer unit at the Western.

Steve said: “Brain tumours are the third fastest growing cancer in the UK in under 40s but research and funding into equipment to treat the disease is massively underfunded. We hope that by raising funds in Rachel’s memory, we can assist the unit to buy the necessary equipment to treat those with the condition.”