Henk Hendriks, a Dutchman with a love of life and a heart of gold, came across to Fife on a visit 20 years ago, falling in love with Scotland and returning to live here four years later.
He quickly established himself as a much-loved character with friends and neighbours in his chosen home of Glenrothes and with workmates at Velux in the town.
So his family, friends and workmates were left devastated when he died suddenly in February 2015 from a brain tumour aged 64.
Last year a group of Henk’s workmates and friends raised over £6000 in his memory to help Kirkcaldy man Craig Victory (20), who was left a virtual prisoner in his home after developing a rare autoimmune condition making him very sensitive to light and sound.
The fundraising efforts, which included a bubble football event and a Beaus and Belles ball, were so successful that the group decided to continue to raise money, setting up the Henk Hendriks Foundation, which is currently in the process of becoming a registered charity.
Now the group, which has members from Kirkcaldy and Glenrothes, is aiming to let more people know about its efforts to raise money for local worthy causes by raising its profile. A big family fun day at Dunnikier Country Park in Kirkcaldy is being planned for August and before that there will be a Dance Through the Decades disco night with a buffet and raffle at Dunnikier House Hotel on July 2, with an auction to win a signed Manchester United top.
Group member Stephen MacCrimmon (42), from Kirkcaldy, said: “Henk was a great man, larger than life and full of fun. When he died we all felt compelled to do something to remember him and that’s how this l came about.” Last year’s events to raise money for Craig, the nephew of the nurse who cared for Henk, were fairly low key.
“This year we have already held a charity darts tournament in memory of Cathy Gibson, who was the Scottish women’s darts champion during the 1980s, to raise awareness of fybromialgia and the money went to a Glenrothes family to adapt their house.
“We want to build up a pot of money that can be used for Fife causes. It doesn’t have to be something big, it can be to help travel expenses to visit a sick person in hospital or to build a disabled ramp to a house. There are lots of people out there who could do with some help and if we can help them, in the spirit of Henk, then we would be happy to do so.”
The big family fun day on August 20 will be the main fundraiser for the Henk Hendriks Foundation this year, and organisers are hoping for a good turnout from the local community.
It will take the format of an ‘It’s a Knockout’ style inflatable fun competition featuring 16 teams with four in each team, with a minimum donation of £5 a head.
The teams will battle it out over a course of eight inflatable obstacles for a special trophy which will be presented on the day.
Other activities include a barbecue and refreshments, bouncy castle and other inflatables, segways, various craft stalls, beat the goalie, hook a duck, tin can alley and tombolas.
The event will run from 11am–2.30pm at Dunnikier Park in Kirkcaldy. Organisers are still looking for teams, with a minimum age of 14, and anyone interested in entering can message the foundation through its facebook page at the Henk Hendriks Foundation.
Henk’s wife Kathy, to whom he was married for nine years, is treasurer of the foundation.
She told the Press: “Henk would have liked the idea of a charity raising money for local worthy causes in his memory.
“He was a very loving and giving person and it is a fitting tribute to him that this group will continue to help out groups and individuals who are struggling or who need a little extra support.”
For more information on the foundation, contact Stephen on 07982 846318.