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Buttercups Are Having a Ball to Raise £100,000

THEY could be mistaken for just another group of Ladies Who Lunch. But the 11 mothers of the Buttercup Ball Committee tonight launch a campaign to raise £100,000.

The women were brought together by their experiences at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children at Yorkhill, in Glasgow. Some of their children died at birth; others confounded expectations to survive.

What unites the women is an immense gratitude for the doctors and nurses at the unit and a desire to help them continue their work.

So began the Buttercup fundraising. To date, the committee has raised more than GBP100,000 for Yorkhill and other good causes, and tonight it hopes a ball in Glasgow will raise a similar amount to help families affected by muscular dystrophy.

It is a condition which is only too familiar to Rosie Brawley, a Buttercup member who became involved with the group when her child, Declan, died at birth. Now her eldest son, Ben, seven, suffers from the severe wasting disease.

Together, the women decided the latest fundraising drive should go towards the Yorkhill Muscle Fund, a charity set up last year by Mrs Brawley to help provide children with neuromuscular disorders with specialised £4000 wheelchairs - to allow them to do things most people take for granted.

"People with kids with neuromuscular disorders have their lives taken over by care and these chairs make all the difference, "

Mrs Brawley said "The children don't complain, but just giving them this one thing allows them to do all the little things we do without thinking, like looking at someone at eye-level, or looking out a bus window."

About 600 people, including former footballers Iain Durrant and Gordon Smith, are expected at the ball. It features a voice-over by Eileen McCallum, the Scottish actress whose two grandsons were recently diagnosed with Duchenne, the most serious form of the wasting disease.

The film shows how young Eoghan Warner and his parents, Elaine and Robbie, cope with muscular dystrophy.

It is an event, says Mrs Warner, that will herald a complete change in Eoghan's way of life.

"The chair will give Eoghan independence, " she explained.

"At the moment, he has problems using desks at school . . .and getting a book off a shelf."

For the Buttercup Ball Committee - Mrs Brawley, Yvonne Craig, Janice McCaffer, Maria Thomson, Christine Kelly, Julie Ramsay, Ann Gibb, Allison Cousins, Aileen Miller, Andrea English and Cecilia Forrest - tonight's black-tie affair at the Hilton hotel, is a remarkable achievement.

"We're not professionals, we are just normal mothers, " said Mrs Craig. "We just want to help children and their families."

People wishing to make a donation to the Yorkhill Muscle Fund should contact Sandra McCusker, fund manager, on 0141 201 0795 or by e-mailing


Reproduced with the permission of the Evening Times (c) Newsquest Media groups