UPDATE: 15.07 :::: 27.05.2020 :::: Total now £13,010!! :::: 467 supporters and 10 days to go!
UPDATE: 15.38 :::: 26.05.2020 :::: Total now £12,920!! :::: 465 supporters and 11 days to go!
UPDATE: 14.19 :::: 24.05.2020 :::: Total now £12,720!! :::: 461 supporters and 13 days to go!
Generous donations continue to pour into the on-line kitty which is aiming to replace some of the thousands of £s a month which the RNLI local branch is being rendered unable to collect because of the coronavirus lockdown.
Looking back at the progress of the appeal…
UPDATE: 16.03 :::: 23.05.2020 :::: Total now £12,610!! :::: 457 supporters and there's 14 days to go!
UPDATE: 14.25 :::: 21.05.2020 :::: Total now £12,230!! ::::444 supporters and there's still 16 days to go!
UPDATE: 16.15 :::: 20.05.2020 :::: Total now £12,140 ::::
John J ‘Booly’ Maclennan - who chairs the RNLI branch in Stornoway - has now (Sunday May 17) got 397 supporters for his bid to raise funds for RNLI Stornoway and he is aiming to maintain his 100% record of contacting them all individually by email to thank them.
So why don't we all keep making the donations and keep John writing. You know it makes sense…and it's for a very good cause!
UPDATE: 0727 15.05.2020 :::: Total now £8450!! :::: New target £9,000 :::::
John J ‘Booly’ Maclennan wants to write lots more Thank-You more messages…and the people of Stornoway and beyond are obliging him.
John - who chairs the RNLI branch in Stornoway - started out on Thursday May 7 to raise £500 for the branch via Facebook and a Justgiving Page (https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/john-maclennan)
And he pledged to email every donor personally to thank them…now he’s attracted more than 310 supporters and raised £6850 for the cause and has written more than 200 messages…but he’s unhappy at not having the chance to answer all the donors because some did not leave their email addresses. So if you want to be thanked - privately, of course - please contact John via https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/john-maclennan.
And John - with decades of experience on the lifeboats pursuing moving targets at sea - keeps moving his fund raising target.
And welovestornoway.com is sure that the public would like to keep John writing – and the RNLI funds growing – so let’s aim even higher and keep John out of mischief with all that message-writing! Because of JustGiving rules the page has to stay open until June 6, so there’s plenty of time still to maintain support for the local RNLI.
A younger John 'Booly" on the RNLB Arun class lifeboat Hugh William Viscount Gough which was based in Stornoway from 1973–1984.
John said today ( Thursday May 14) one week after the appeal started :"Well, folks I have never experienced a week like this in my entire life. I just cannot get over the magnitude of the response, support and donations YOU have so willingly and so generously given to our Stornoway Lifeboat. Whilst the bulk of the donations originate in Lewis there have also been generous donations from Harris, Uist, and family and friends throughout Scotland, the UK and as far away as America. SO a huge thank you to every single person who donated. YOU are the people who to date have raised £7950. Page remains open to 6th June 2020."
Earlier John said of the fund-raising achievement: "We must emphasise that it is the community that merit the credit and the RNLI's gratitude to them in these times when traditional fund raising is suspended - e.g. the RNLI shop is closed, flag days suspended, no bag packing etc."
Originally John – who was employed by the Stornoway Pier and Harbour Commission and Stornoway Port Authority for 27 years from 1983 and served as Chief Executive from 1996 until his retirement in 2010 – decided to cycle his way to some funds for the organisation.
John explained: "I have been a supporter of the Stornoway Lifeboat since becoming a crew member back in 1971. Currently I serve as Chairman of the Stornoway Branch.
"It was my intention to ask for sponsorship for cycling from Stornoway to Carloway via Breasclete and back on 9th May 2020 - my 70th birthday.
"However, the forecast is not too good for Saturday , so I completed the 37 mile cycle trip on Wednesday May 6."
"I am justifiably proud of the men and women who continue to man our Lifeboat as well as those who work tirelessly on the shore-side and fund raising. Above all the Lifeboat Institution is wholly dependent on voluntary contributions. So a heartfelt thank-you to all who have contributed."
On Saturday May 9, John commented: "Today I hit the Big 70 - well virtually in these days of Lockdown. The Big Reality for me today is that in a short time over 120 wonderful people have seen fit to sponsor me and in so doing have so far donated over £3000 to our Stornoway Lifeboat. That is a wonderful and best birthday present. So a massive thank you to all family, friends and supporters not just in Lewis but as far away as New York, Marvig, Plocrapool, Leverburgh, Glasgow etc etc.”
And most recently John said: “As you know traditional fund raising opportunities like coffee afternoons, bag packing, flag days etc are all suspended with Covid-19. And our Gift Shop also is shut. So your donations are extra meaningful I keep raising the target figure and you guys keep beating it!”
The top photograph is one that John's brother Michael took of the Sir Max Aitken II. Says John: "I can't remember where we were going that day but it must have been an urgent shout as Calum the Cox had the handles right down immediately after slipping the moorings. That's me on the foredeck stowing the fenders." The Arun Class Sir Max Aitken II was the Stornoway lifeboat in 1984–1999.