Mike’s ‘surprise’ boost for charities

Mike and Iris Murray with their grandchildren and Sandy Stronach, right, and Bob Donald.

Mike and Iris Murray with their grandchildren and Sandy Stronach, right, and Bob Donald.

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The generosity of an Ellon man’s family and friends has led to a financial boost for two health charities.

Guests at Mike Murray’s surprise 60th birthday party were asked to give donations instead of presents.

And they raised £800 which has been split between the British Heart Foundation and Epilepsy Scotland.

Father-of-two Mike was diagnosed with epilepsy eight years ago and suffered a heart attack five years ago.

He and wife Iris, 56, decided that the two charities should benefit from the birthday celebration, which was held recently in the town’s Station Hotel.

The couple presented a £400 cheque to Sandy Stronach, chair of the Gordon branch of the British Heart Foundation, last Friday. Bob Donald, a prominent local fund-raiser for the organisation, also attended the handover.

Iris told the Times: “Our daughter and son and their families organised the party. Mike didn’t know anything about it until he got there.

“We decided that instead of gifts to give the donations to charity.”

Mike added: “I was supposed to be going to another party, or so I was told. I did have a wee inkling that there must be something on for me.

“There were about 100 people there and we had a good old night. Everyone was very generous.”

Mr Stronach praised the gesture.

He said: “There are no house collections like there used to be and we depend on legacies and donations like these.

“It’s very welcome and we thank them for their generosity.”

Bob, 73, recently raised around £4500 for BHF from a 1000-mile cycle from Lands End to John O’Groats.

He will take part in the 70-mile BHF Loch Ness Bike Ride later this month.

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