A Kirkcaldy teenager and her cousin are set to hit new fundraising heights when they take part in a skydiving challenge later this month.
Sophie McWhirter (17), a pupil at Balwearie High School, and her cousin Graeme McWhirter (22), from Upper Largo, will take to the skies for their tandem jumps on July 19 in aid of Guide Dogs for the Blind.
Sophie’s mum Fiona is the organiser for the small Kirkcaldy branch of the charity.
She has also been a puppy walker in the town since September 2009, and is currently helping to train her fifth puppy, eight-month-old Warwick.
During that time she says she has been helped enormously by Glenrothes puppywalkers Bill and Shirley Penman who have been staunch supporters of the Guide Dogs charity for 25 years, during which time they walked 27 puppies.
Bill died suddenly last year and Fiona thought that it would be a fitting tribute to him to name a guide dog in his honour for all the work he did over the years.
“It costs £5000 for an individual to name a puppy, and £1500 for a school, so we are hoping to persuade Balwearie, where Sophie is a sixth year pupil, to do this.
‘The school has been supportive over the years and helped with a recent concert we had featuring Britain’s Got Talent finalist Edward Reid.
“Sophie and Graeme, who have called themselves the McFlyers, decided to do the skydive after I was speaking to Shirley, Bill’s wife, who works at Fife Airport, and they have been busy promoting their online giving page to family and friends, with Sophie already securing over £500.
“They have to pay to do the skydive, so they are hoping people will be as generous as possible to help them raise as much as they can to be able to name a puppy after Bill.”
Specsavers opticians in Kirkcaldy High Street, which also supports the charity, will be helping the young people with their fundraising efforts by holding a funday on Saturday in the shop, with a bake stall, a raffle and other activities.
Fiona and Sophie will be visiting the shop around 11.00 a.m. with two puppies which are currently being trained as guide dogs.
“We are very grateful to Specsavers for their support over the years and for helping to promote Sophie and Graeme’s skydives, and we are hoping that lots of people will pop in and show their support for such a worthy cause,” added Fiona.
To make a donation towards Sophie’s fundraiser, visit: www.uk.virginmoneygiving.com and search for Sophie McWhirter.