A call goes out to fans of ‘The King’

Elvis Central fan club founder Lesley Stewart and her husband Tony with a cut-out of The King
Elvis Central fan club founder Lesley Stewart and her husband Tony with a cut-out of The King

An Elvis fan club is all shook up and could end up closing down after a lack of support.

The not-for-profit Elvis Central is struggling to make ends meet despite raising more than £12,000 for charity since it was formed nine years ago.

Founder Lesley Stewart (46), a paralegal from Falkirk, said: “Like many organisations, our club is suffering from lack of support in the past months.

“We are now seriously considering whether we have to give this up at the end of the year as we are running at a loss. This would be a great disappointment to the members who do support the club each month.

“We hold monthly dances in Camelon Bowling Club so it would not only be our members that would suffer but also the club as it relies on our monthly business.”

Mrs Stewart has been a fan of Elvis since the late sixties as her mum also loved ‘The King’, but she said the turning point for her devotion to the rock ’n’ roll legend was in 1973 after she was allowed stay up late and watch the ‘Aloha from Hawaii’ concert.

The fan club’s dances are held on the second Saturday of every month. A recent one raised £500 for residents of Glenbrae and Barnardo’s Falkirk.

Mrs Stewart started the club back in October 2002 when she held its first charity fundraiser in the old Friendly Hotel in Manor Street. The next big fundraiser, for a young boy, Aerron Wilson, who had a terminal heart condition, raised more than £3000 in 2004.

The money was supposed to pay for a trip to Graceland in Memphis, USA, for him but he wasn’t able to fly and instead went on trips to EuroDisney and Spain before he sadly passed away.

Other charities to benefit from money raised by Elvis Central include Maggie’s Cancer Centres, while £2600 was raised at an event in 2008 for six-year-old Joley Moore, from Grangemouth, who died in December last year after being born with Down’s Syndrome and a rare heart condition.

“We don’t dress up as Elvis for the dances, or mock him in any way, and it’s not karaoke,” added Mrs Stewart. ‘‘We are the only fan club for Falkirk and Central Scotland recognised by Graceland and Elvis Presley Enterprises and are a non-profit making club.

“We hold monthly dances for all Elvis fans in the central belt and even those who travel from outwith this area.

‘‘There are people from their late teens to their 70s who come along so there’s a good mix of people and a great atmosphere.”

“We’re just normal people out having a good time listening to the main man all night long. Everyone is very friendly and we all look forward to the next dance.

“The whole idea of the club is to let fans enjoy Elvis, give us all a good night out and raise money for local charities and help people in Elvis’s name.”

The Central Scotland fan club is officially registered with Graceland. To donate, attend a dance or get involved contact Mrs Stewart on 07905 798016 or visit www.elvis-central.com