Newsletter 27 – What a spectacular year!

Hoping you all had super Christmasses and all the right presents.  If you had too much turkey and pudding then get thinking about an O2e event for 2020; something that will challenge and inspire you back to your magnificent best.  But first, in this the last newsletter of the year, let’s close out the last four (that I know of) events, completed during the dying embers of 2019.  A year in which the O2e family has achieved 45 events and raised over £160,000 allowing us to donate a massive £150,000 to improve the lives of terminally ill and disabled children.  Big Cheers from Big Ears.  Amazing!!
Two lucky dip events, pulled out of the hat as long ago as mid- January, were delivered:

Margaret walks 1 mile backwards:

Frankly this looked like a step too far (see what I did there?) when drawn out of the hat at the launch night.  However, Margaret was characteristically confident about bringing it home and so she has!!  Not much text to accompany the photies, but I guess she started and a mile later she finished and it was not as easy as it sounds (try walking backwards for 5 minutes and you’ll see what I mean).   Margaret has been training for this for a while, but it was still a huge challenge.  Well done Maggie!! Xx

Alan McGinley swims amongst icebergs:

Another Lucky Dip challenge; there were doubts that Alan (a long time O2e supporter) had the balls to follow through with this one, particularly as the March deadline for an outdoor swim passed by.  However Big Al has more than made up for it with a brief but complete immersion in ice cold water during an outdoor paddle in Ireland on Christmas Day.  Proving that indeed he has the balls, if only he could find them.  Terrific Big Al…. 

Slatts’ O2e karaoke night  

Pre-Christmas revellers sang their hearts out at the Paris Grill on Wednesday 11 December. A terrific night was had by all with the obligatory “Sweet Caroline” getting more than one airing.  Well done for organising Slatts. Pictured with Connor Green, Tim Green, Ollie Wade, Michael Fearon and Howard Roadnight
Beardy Al Green completes 12 marathons in 12 months for O2e
An uplifting theme of 2019 has been Forest Gump (Alexander Green) completing a marathon each month for O2e.  Beardy Al finished his 12th in his home town of Newport surrounded by friends and family who have been supporting him enthusiastically all year.  A modest man with a “fairly thin” athletic record (his words), following a near death episode when he was a youngster, this has been a terrific achievement and the final event was a suitably celebrated with many supporters joining Al to run some or all of his last marathon this year, a big welcome back at Chateau Green, bubbles, food, cake, a carol written specifically to commemorate Al’s achievement, a beautiful hand crafted medal made by Al’s Dad, Richard, to commemorate his achievements and Al gave a tearful and heartfelt speech thanking everyone, emphasising the importance of the charity and what it means to him and finally thanking girlfriend Lauren in particular for all her support.   All in all, a magical end to a memorable and exhausting series.  And almost £5k raised for O2e (with gift aid)!! Brilliant job Al (

Skelly400 2020

Regular O2e-ers will forgive me for highlighting this event – The Skelly 400 was started by Paul Skelly, who was instrumental in setting up this charity and was a valued and much-loved friend to many, not least the Beckenham Rugby Cyclists and Beckenham Rugby Club community.  Paul touched many people’s hearts before sadly passing away three years ago far too early.  One of his many legacies is the Skelly 400, a brilliant springboard for your exercise regime in 2020 but definitely not for wimps.  The event requires participants to ride 400 miles in January in one of 2 ways:
Grand Fondo : At least 10 miles outdoors every day plus 100 miles on one day in January
Epic: A total of 400 miles in January, achieved in whatever way possible indoors or out, bike or wattbike, regular daily rides or sporadic rides. 
The miles will be totted up on a Strava group, but I need to know soonest who is up for the challenge so please email me or ring TODAY to let me know you’re in. It’s a great way to celebrate Skelly’s life and to start your 2020 campaigns.

Mark and Lucy get engaged!
Some joyous news from the Turner stable is the engagement of O2e supporters Mark Galloway and the fragrant Lucy Turner on Christmas Eve.  Many congratulations to you both and much happiness for the future.  I don’t know the wedding date yet, but I’m sure I’m free that weekend.  

Save the date – O2e Launch night 2020

will take place at a venue to be confirmed (but likely to be the EDF Man offices as usual) on Thursday 16th January 2020.  This is where we give out the 2019 money; announce the 2020 beneficiaries and hear what they plan to do with your funds raised; set the targets for 2020 and hear about early challenges/events confirmed for the year.  We have already had a massive amount of interest expressed for 2020 events, including the largest number of pre-registrations ever for Big Kevs bike ride to Amsterdam in September and rumours of another spectacular Possee ride through the beautiful South Wales scenery (more details to follow in the next Newsletter).  There will also be another Events Lucky Dip for the brave and adventurous tigers amongst you….. Please put the date in your diaries.  And don’t forget to send me your events for 2020; whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever.  And let’s try and grow this wonderful family with some newbies in 2020.  Wishing you all a happy, healthy and active 2020!

Lots of love
Chairman DD Big Cheese xx

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