A BIRTHDAY party held in memory of a young dad killed in a tragic accident on New Year’s Day has raised £7500 so far for two causes close to his heart.
The money raised in George Jack’s name will be split between the accident and emergency department at Raigmore Hospital and a project he helped to initiate to build new sports pitches in Avoch.
Mr Jack was hit by a car while walking home in the Black Isle village in the early hours after spending Hogmanay working in the pavilion sports bar in the village, which he helped to run as a community concern.
He died of his injuries in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary on January 9 and it was later revealed that three of his organs were donated to recipients – one of whom contacted his family to say he was doing well.
Mr Jack’s wife Jillian and his sister Evie decided to hold a charity dinner dance on Saturday, July 22 – what would have been George’s 37th birthday – at the Fairburn Hall in Marybank, the village where his sister lives.
They wanted to mark his birthday with something positive that would bring people together.
And were stunned by the overwhelming response from local businesses and communities to the party.
Evie described the night as a “huge success”.
His wife Jillian said: “It was well-attended, we sold all the tickets and the hall was full. Everybody had a great night and it was really good.”
George, the father of two young girls, was the chairman of Avoch Amenities Association that had submitted plans for a football pitch, tennis and sports courts next to the village sports pavilion.
Jillian said the association was currently fundraising and half the money raised at the party would go towards the 25 per cent share of the costs of the first phase of the project, which the community had to raise.
She said the £7500 they raised on the night was far more than the £3000 total they were hoping to achieve, and that was down to the fantastic raffle prizes Evie had managed to organise.
These included a golfing package at Castle Stuart that was auctioned off, and Ross County family tickets.
She said the party had attracted a good mix of people, including a lot of children and many friends of Evie and George.
“It was a good way to spend his birthday,” said Jillian who is mum to Kacie and Alys.
“It’s been good to have something to concentrate on and it was really nice for the kids to be at their dad’s party.
“We want to thank everybody who contributed to the raffle and came on the night,” she added.