A family have raised thousands of pounds for a mental health charity at a fundraiser celebrating the 21st birthday of a teenager who took his own life aged 17.
Hundreds of guests joined the family of Lee Stuart at the Hilton Grosvenor in Glasgow on Friday, more than three years on from his death.
The event saw Lee’s nearest and dearest come together to celebrate his life and raise over £17,000 for suicide prevention and crisis charity Chris’s House, which helped support the family.
Hosted by River City actress Gayle Telfer Stevens and Still Game’s Sanjeev Kholi, the 270-strong crowd were entertained by singer Allanah Wright, saxophonist Gordon Bowie, DJ George Bowie, and Zander Nation.
The night also saw an auction and raffle, which included flights from Jet2Holidays, tickets for Robbie Williams at the OVO Hydro, signed Celtic and Rangers memorabilia and artwork from Ross Muir and Johanna Fleming, amongst various other gifts.
Lee’s mum, Lizzi Stuart, said: “Organising the event has been so emotional, but we wanted to do something that Lee would have wanted. A party with his friends and family, whilst raising awareness and funds for Chris’s House seemed the right thing to do.
“The kindness we’ve received from everyone, with donations for auction and raffle prizes and the entertainers donating their time, is truly amazing.
“To see just how much people want to support this good cause has been overwhelming and I’m proud that we’re supporting a charity which makes a huge difference to families like ours, bereaved by suicide.”
Lee’s aunt, trained therapist Lynne McKay, said: “This is the biggest thing we’ve organised as a family since Lee left us, but it’s kept us going knowing we’re marking his 21st birthday with a celebration of his life.
“Suicide is complex, and the thoughts don’t ever really go away, but we’re glad to be supporting such an important cause that will help to prevent other families from experiencing what we have.
“We’re blown away with the total amount raised, when we first started planning for this, we were worried that we wouldn’t be able to sell tickets and now we’ve raised thousands.
“We know times are tough for everyone just now, we’re just so thankful to everyone that’s went out of their way to support such an important cause.”
Lizzi and Lynne’s cousin, James White, also took on a ’21 Miles for Lee’ challenge to support the fundraising, walking 21 miles from his place of birth at Glasgow’s Royal Infirmary to his final resting place at Vale of Leven Cemetery on October 1.
Anyone wishing to donate to the fundraiser can visit the family’s JustGiving page.
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