Johnnie Meechan raffling off prizes for foodbank drive
A TRANENT-BASED fundraiser is running a raffle in aid of foodbanks and charity groups across East Lothian, with some top prizes up for grabs.
Johnnie Meechan, 43, started Johnnie’s Journey in 2016 after being diagnosed with a rare terminal cancer called a neuroendocrine tumour, commonly known as NET cancer.
Johnnie has since been fundraising for a number of local causes in the name of NET cancer to raise awareness of the illness.
His latest Johnnie’s Journey event is a raffle for foodbank groups via a JustGiving page which he has run for the past two years.
Johnnie said: “Anyone who might be able to supply a prize for the raffle we use as an extra incentive and reward for those who help.
“Now that we’re officially live, people can donate two different ways: either directly to the event’s JustGiving page or via actual food or toiletries, which can be dropped off to us or we collect from those donating.
“Both are of equal value and go to the same cause.
“All the money donated via JustGiving will be used on the last day (January 27), when the team will do a cash and carry run, buying as much as possible from the foodbank’s requests.”
Food bought with donations will go to groups such as East Lothian Foodbank, East Lothian Roots and Fruits and Home-Start East Lothian.
Johnnie normally runs the event – which has raised more than £1,200 on JustGiving so far – in December but had to postpone it until January for a number of reasons.
Johnnie’s wife Evie has also been diagnosed with breast cancer and was in the hospital over the festive period; her treatment has been going well so far.
Johnnie said: “We usually do this event in December but, with everything going on at home, it just wasn’t realistic. Things are pretty much the same but I gave my word so we have to kick on.
“Thankfully, I have a wonderful small team of friends to share the weight and have lots of followers stepping up willing to help.
“Lots of groups and people tend to help these causes more so at Christmas but they get a bit forgotten in January, so it’s just as important a time to offer support.”
Every £5 donated is equal to one raffle entry and those who donate food items or toiletries also go into the raffle.
Since launching the appeal, Johnnie has had many local businesses get involved and sponsor prizes, including Brass Buddha Tattoos in Tranent.
Other businesses have offered donations to the raffle, including a signed Scott Arfield shirt from Rangers, signed Heart of Midlothian and Hibernian footballs, a family pass for the Scottish Seabird Centre in North Berwick, and a one-month gym pass for The Club in Edinburgh.
All of these prizes and more will be drawn from the pot live on Facebook after the fundraising is complete.
Johnnie said: “I’m six years into this illness, longer than I ever expected to get.
“So much has changed in that time both personally and with the Journey.
“It could change at any moment, so I have to make the most of it.
“Everything is done under the NET cancer awareness banner whilst helping as many others as possible along the way.”
Visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/foodbankjj22 to donate to Johnnie’s foodbank drive.
East Lothian Courier