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Red carpet event in Strathpeffer paves way for Ross-shire fundraiser's tough South Africa trek

By Hector MacKenzie

Tina and Graeme Swanson
Tina and Graeme Swanson

A ROSS-SHIRE woman who has raised tens of thousands of pounds for a cancer charity will walk down the red carpet close to home before hitting gritty mountain trails half a world away.

Tina Swanson is set to trek the Drakensberg mountains in South Africa for a care at home charity she has supported passionately for decades.

Mrs Swanson, who will be joined on her South African trek by husband Graeme, well-known to customers of Conanvet, has set herself a £10,000 target.

The effort will take the proprietor of Tina’s Rearoom in Dingwall well outside of her comfort zone, camping for the first time.

Before that, she has lined up a movie-themed red carpet dinner at the iconic Strathpeffer Pavilion. Each table will be named after a film with guests invited to get into character or go black tie. “For anyone who has wanted to be Scarlett O’Hara or Rhett Butler, this is their chance!”, she said. Music, dinner, an auction and raffle and paparazzi complete the event.

Strathpeffer Pavilion
Strathpeffer Pavilion

She’s hoping for a great turnout for the March 30 event. She said: “The staff at the Spa Pavilion are really helping to make this a very special event. It will make such a nice change for it not to be in Inverness!”

She said: “The trek will be challenging but I know I will meet more amazing and inspiring people all taking part for their own reasons. I can’t tell you how much it makes you buck your ideas up when you are asking yourself ‘what on earth am I doing here?’ and then someone shows you a photo of the loved one they are walking in memory of who was able to stay at home thanks only to the help of Marie Curie nurses – that is a real mental hard slap to make you stop thinking you can’t do it so you just get on with it.”

Tickets for the Pavilion bash are on sale at Tina’s Tearoom at Dingwall Railway Station. More at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/christinaswanson

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