Apr 27 2012 by Kaiya Marjoribanks, Stirling Observer Friday
A DUNBLANE family man who lost his battle with cancer is continuing to inspire a host of fundraising events for Strathcarron Hospice.
Craig Harrington, dad of Dan (5) and three-year-old Eve, passed away in the hospice on October 16 last year aged 41, just weeks after being diagnosed with aggressive oesophageal cancer.
But he continues to be a driving force for supporting Strathcarron thanks to all the efforts of his friends and family.
An 80s night in the Victoria Hall in Dunblane on Saturday in his memory is already a sellout, with the Remembering Craig Harrington justgiving page already reaching more than £2000 before the event has even been held.
As well as 80s music and karaoke, there will be a retro buffet with “cheese and pineapple hedgehogs”, retro sweeties and crispy pancakes, 80s style fancy dress, decorations, and the chance to have 80s style facepainting in Toyah or Adam Ant style.
Among the raffle prizes are those donated by Craig’s employers the Radisson Hotel in Glasgow, plus a gold package voucher donated by Lumia Spa in Bridge of Allan.
Those at the night are being invited to bring along their own 80s photos for a “Wall of Shame”, and “Handbags and Gladrags” is a chance for them to donate old party gear and treat themselves to someone else’s.
The event will be “a bring your own bottle” affair.
Craig’s wife Esther said: “We could have filled the hall twice over and part of that is of course because it is going to be a really fun night and people love the 80s.
“But most of all it is because Craig was a really special person, a quiet but witty man who really had an impact on people – and he was very into his music.
“And of course people know this is for the hospice and they realise just how special a place it is.
“So many people’s lives have been touched by Strathcarron, either by personal experience or through a friend or loved one.
“Strathcarron was not only a tremendous support to Craig but has also been there for me and our family. The people who work there are amazing.”
Esther, who is currently taking a break from her job as a supply and support for learning teacher, knows only too well what the support of the hospice means.
Within weeks, Esther found herself going from enjoying family life with her husband and their two young children, to sitting by his bedside at the hospice.
“The staff didn’t just look after Craig, they looked out for me.
“Knowing the 80s night will be raising money for a great cause is so important.
“At Craig’s funeral we released helium balloons and on Saturday we will be giving people the chance to do the same and attach their own messages for their loved ones.
“As well as being a fun night it will also be an emotional one.”
The 80s night, however, is just one of a number of forthcoming events and fundraising efforts inspired by Craig.
Esther and her friends are also in training for the Strathcarron Hospice Midnight Tiara Walk on May 12.
And friend Mandy Beer is preparing to run the Manchester Marathon – dressed as Wonder Woman – to help add to the fundraising efforts.
Mandy, who is admissions supervisor at Briarlands Farm near Blairdrummond, said: “I’m hoping to beat my personal best time and raise money for the hospice in Craig’s name in support of his brilliant family.”
Esther added: “Mandy is a star.
“In fact our friends and family have been wonderful. My friend Laura Coutts has been a great help and has worked incredibly hard.
“But lots of people have been doing lots to help and the fundraising effort has helped me through a difficult time, not just by giving me a focus but because my friends have been so supportive.”
Anyone who would like to donate to the effort and/or find links to sponsor the individual fundraising events in Craig’s memory can go to the dediacated justgiving.com website and follow the links to /remember/4560/Craig-Harrington.