Event of the Week: Rock Out for Karen

October 22, 2012

Taibach Rugby Club Ty Olwen Fundraiser 

On September 15, Steffan Newton hosted the “Rock Out For Karen” fundraiser to honour his best friend’s mother, who passed away from a terminal illness. The event was put together in order to raise money for the Ty Olwen Trust, an organisation that had cared for his best friend’s mother while she was sick. Newton is justifiably proud of the fact that they were able to raise well over £1200 for the charity in a single night.

The Ty Olwen Trust is a hospice a short distance from the hospital in Morriston. The facility has rooms for in-patients and outpatients, as well as a day care centre and counseling support for patients and family members. According to their website, the “medical staff and nurses work in the unit and visit patients in other hospital wards and in their own homes.” The charity is named after “Mrs. J.T. (Olwen) Morgan the first chairperson of the Fundraising Committee in 1978, who worked tirelessly to raise the £500,000 to build the unit.” It was opened in 1982 by the Duchess of Kent.

The fundraiser night hosted by Newton included a raffle and charity auction, as well as a performance by Newton’s own band. Methods of spreading the word of the night included Facebook, radio and local newspaper advertisements, and posters posted locally.

Newton said, “It takes massive commitment and a lot of organisation to put together an event like this.” Surprised at what he managed to accomplish, he noted, “I think I underestimated the amount of work that is needed,” and advised starting the process of publicizing the even as soon as possible: “Once you have created the event, get the tickets and advertisement started ASAP,” he suggested. He then added, “I sweated on ticket sales until about 2 weeks before the event and then we completely sold out.”

His advice for others wishing for success in a similar venture? “Try not to panic and keep a cool head.” Also, “If you run a raffle on the night as well and are looking for donated prizes please be aware that you need to contact the relevant people well in advance.”

The greatest moment of the whole night for Newton was playing his best friend’s mom’s favourite song. Newton said, “That was emotional.”

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