Annual fundraiser makes an impression

Grant and Elaine have something to sing about
Grant and Elaine have something to sing about

Stevie Wonder, Amy Winehouse and Tom Jones were the stars of the show at a community activist’s annual charity shindig.

Big-hearted Elaine Kelso (61) is a ‘well kent’ face in the Whitecross village.

Her community events have raised thousands of pounds for charities over the past decade.

Her latest show saw villagers and other friends from the Braes area and beyond dress up as their musical heroes for a local version of the popular 'Stars in Their Eyes' TV programme in the Phoenix pub.

This year’s beneficiaries of the night, which raised just over £1000, was Edinburgh’s Western General Hospital where her oldest daughter Hazel (40) was treated for cervical cancer last year. She has since had three all-clears.

An earlier fundraiser organised by Elaine in January raised more than £800 for the hospital’s radiotherapy unit.

Mother-of-two Elaine, who has been a member of almost every committee of the various community groups in the village was over the moon at the response of residents and revellers.

“The night was full to the rafters and everyone had a great time,” she said.

“My daughter asked me if we could raise some money for the Western General’s training department in the radiotherapy unit because they struggle with funding, and because they took great care of her we were delighted to do just that.

“We are really grateful for all the support from everyone who came along and donated raffle prizes, especially Douglas Hannigan of Hannigan Hotels, Neo Hair and Beauty and The Brucefield Arms, Marnie McDonald and Hazel’s friends in Peebles for generous monetary donations.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to all the singers who took part.

"The show could not have been held without them.”

The 11 singers on the Stars in Their Eyes night each sang three songs - one from their favourite artist, another from a musical and one from an artist of the opposite sex.

Other artists and characters impersonated included Marilyn Monroe, Lulu, Elaine Paige and Barbara Dickson and Ariel from the Little Mermaid.