Family and friends of a Blantyre man who died after a heart attack whilst playing golf have been praised by the nation’s heart charity for their incredible fundraising efforts in his memory.
Gordon Smith was just 48 when he collapsed at Drumpellier Golf Club in November 2006. The following year, his family organised a golf day to celebrate the life of the dad-of-two and to raise money for the British Heart Foundation (BHF). Such was its success, it became an annual event and this year’s golf day has now helped bring the overall total to £80,000.
Graham Smith, Gordon’s brother, and one of the original event organisers, said: “To think we have raised such a huge amount of money in Gordon’s name and for a charity that is close to all our hearts is incredible. When we started out, we just wanted to do something to celebrate Gordon’s life, bring friends and family together and remember him doing something he loved – playing golf. Over the years, it has just grown and grown and we’re so grateful to everyone for supporting us and helping us raise this fantastic amount of money for the BHF.”
The BHF is the largest independent funder of research into heart and circulatory diseases in Scotland – research that is only made possible thanks to donations from the public. Over the past 60 years the BHF has been instrumental in countless lifesavingdiscoveries. In the 1960s, the decade the BHF was founded, 7 out of 10 heart attacks in the UK were fatal. Now, thanks in part to research the charity has helped fund, at least 7 out of 10 people survive.
Alongside raising money for the BHF, the Smith family also provided a defibrillator for Drumpellier Golf Club.
Gordon’s son, Andrew, said: “It is just an incredible achievement and a real testament to all the hard work that everyone has put in. We lost my dad at such a young age and sadly many other families have lost loved ones suddenly too. That’s why the work of the BHF is so important to us and it’s amazing to think that Dad’s memory continues to help other people in such a meaningful way. It’s also been brilliant that it’s all been made possible through people having a good time & celebrating life.”
Graham and Gordon’s mum, May, says it has been comforting to know that something so positive has come out of Gordon’s tragic and sudden death.
“I am so proud of all the work Graham has put into this special event over the years, “ she said. “Personally, I love the golf day because I feel Gordon is with us and his memory is living on.”
Alongside the golf event, there have been additional fundraising events, including a bungee jump and Graham and his son, Rory, also took part in a skydive from 15,000ft earlier this year, which raised almost £2,000.
Lyndsay Anderson, BHF Scotland Fundraising Manager, said: “Our research to help the 700,000 people in Scotland living with heart and circulatory diseases is only made possible because of the generosity of amazing fundraisers, like the Smith family. Their efforts mean we can continue to fund lifesaving research to help us find the breakthroughs, treatments and cures of the future and turn research that once seemed like science fiction into reality. We just cannot thank the family and all their friends and supporters enough.”
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