Rotarians Beaujolais Run

A SPECIAL wine mission will be launched by Stonehaven rotarians within days, mainly in a bid to raise cash for long-needed equipment for a Stonehaven hospital.

The rotarians’ effort kicks off on Monday evening, when eight rotarians, begin their whistle-stop trip to the heart of France’s Beaujolais wine country to bring back newly-released Beaujolais for auction to help fund-raisers achieve the capital cost of a kidney dialysis unit for Stonehaven’s Community Hospital.

Around £300,000 has already been raised for the project, but current estimates are that about £150,000 more will be needed to cover the cost.

On Saturday November 10, two days before their departure, members of the Rotary mission, plus the cars provided by sponsors that the team will be driving, will be at Stonehaven’s Plainstones to both publicise their effort and raise additional cash through sales of raffle tickets.

The winner of a £100 cash prize plus a bottle of the Beaujolais brought back from France, will be the person who correctly calculates how many miles the team will clock up on their journey, but the trick will be to guess not just the mileage from Stonehaven to France and back but the additional mileage the rotarians will clock up while they are carrying out their mission in France.

Frank Budd, one of the trip’s participants said: “ We will hopefully have both cars, with all their sponsor logos, and a complement of our driving teams fully ‘kilted’ at the Plainstones on Saturday from 10am trying to raise more money through our ‘Guess the Mileage’ competition.

“I would like to emphasise that we will pay all of our expenses personally for this trip including ferry, fuel, food and accommodation, so all the money received will go to the dialysis appeal.

“We are away 72 hours and driving for over 42, so weather permitting we should be back at the Station Hotel for our French evening and auction of the 2012 Beaujolais Nouveau on the evening of November 15.”

The dialysis unit will provide a long-needed boost for a group of patients, mainly in the Stonehaven and Mearns area, who, thanks to the location of a unit closer to home, will be finally relieved of the gruelling need to travel to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary three times a week for kidney dialysis.

On their outward journey the rotarians will travel through the night to Dover. They then cross by ferry to Calais, arriving in Villefranche-sur-Saone by late afternoon.

Next day, the Stonehaven team head for the wine supplier, Domaine Monternot, and the aim is to be back at the Station Hotel in Stonehaven on the evening of Thursday, November 15, in time for the special gala dinner when the new wine will be auctioned by Ian Taylor of Taylor’s Auctions of Montrose.