A BRECHIN woman and her friend raised £370 in aid of Woodlands Garden Trust 45 Commando Royal Marines in an event which turned out to be inspirational.
Wendy Cleal and her friend Janice Haughton took part in a “March4themarines” event at Milton of Crathes, Banchory, where they both took part in a 10k march along the old Deeside railway line from Milton of Crathes towards Aberdeen and back.
Wendy said: “When I was given a poster and invited to participate in the “March4themarines” event I readily agreed as last year saw me completing my final marathon for breast cancer charities.
“I encouraged Janice to take part as well because she was training with me towards a half marathon.
“The funds that we raised will be used to to help build a garden of remembrance and reflection in the 45 Commando Royal Marine’s base in Arbroath and will include a designated play area for the children of the Marines, some of whom have lost their fathers.
“The garden will also benefit those Marines who have been injured, some severely, and those who carry the unseen trauma of war.”
The day of the event came round quickly and, although cloudy, the weather remained dry for the march.
After an energetic 20 minute warm-up the participants were piped out.
Half way round saw more pipers and some refreshments before participants headed back to the finishing line.
As well as general fund-raisers the marchers were joined on the walk by some Marines.
“One Marine in particular who joined the marchers was Paul Barret, just 36, who had undergone 42 operations,” said Wendy.
“He walked with his daughter and it was an amazing achievement for him to take part and complete the challenge. He was a walking miracle.
“The day was a big success and enjoyed by all who participated. It was fun and emotionally humbling.
“The biggest thing for me was seeing Paul cross the finishing line to the cheers from his fellow Marines and the pipe band piping him home.
“He was an inspiration to us all and brought home the reality of what these men go through out in Afghanistan and why we must support them.
“We would like to thank all our sponsors who helped us raise £370 towards the building of the garden of remembrance - a very special place to be built and used by very special people and very local.”
During the event organiser Catherine Robb explained that she hoped that the garden would be ready by the time Lieutenant Colonel Oliver Lee and his men of 45 Commando, who are currently serving in Afghanistan, return home towards the end of the year.