Alex’s brilliant Devon fundraiser

A Harvard Business School professor looked at the correlation between prosocial giving and happiness and found that one increases the other; a virtuous circle of giving and happiness.

It is then little wonder that Alex Elson and her friends entered this week with big grins, following the amazing success of a fundraiser in memory of a good friend who passed away in November from melanoma, raising over £4,000 for the Melanoma Fund.

Alex, from North Devon has over the years lost several friends to this most dreaded form of skin cancer. After losing Lyn Vine, the originator of her book club, she decided enough was enough, and looked to do something to raise awareness of melanoma, to prevent this awful cancer affecting others.

Says Alex; “Lyn lived next door to the Manor House Inn in Croyde, North Devon. She was a lovely friend to me, and many others and it was just awful to lose her to such a preventable disease. The pub landlady and I decided that as it was my 70th birthday coming up in February, we organise a fundraiser for Melanoma Fund. We decided to make it a celebration, in memory of friends taken too soon, and started planning a party and a weekend of fun activities”.

Charity support

I contacted Michelle Baker, CEO of the charity to explain my intentions, and we immediately started working together to ensure we ticked all the boxes, to make this a successful event. The charity provided leaflets, sunscreen, banners, and wristbands, helped secure raffle prizes, as well as provide some great advice around fundraising activities.

Let the party begin!

Over 100 people came to a party in the Inn on Saturday night and a good time was had by all. To raise funds for this amazing charity, that works tirelessly to tackle melanoma, we organised a huge raffle, a silent auction with prizes such as fine dining, a beach car park season ticket, a seaside weekend away, rounds of golf, and numerous other prizes. The landlady kindly agreed to donate a percentage of their bar takings from the party to the charity, which was a wonderful gesture.

A windy dog walk

The next day we had a memorial dog walk to the beach. With gale force winds and driving rain, the weather was against us, however over a dozen people and 6 dogs turned up and braved the elements. The dogs and some people wore yellow ribbons in memory of lost friends, and one person brought a very large donation and saw us off to the beach, which made this day worthwhile and special.

On Monday it was my official birthday, and so to celebrate I had a coffee morning for my more elderly neighbours and friends, and even more donations were given. Several people who were not able to attend the party sent donations via a Facebook fundraiser, by post to me, and directly to the charity website, ensuring they added Gift Aid.

Say’s Michelle Baker: “It was a pleasure to work with Alex to support a fundraiser which spanned three days. Her dedication and passion were evident from the first email, and I really believe this was the reason so many people turned up and supported and donated to the cause.

On behalf of the Melanoma Fund, I would like to thank Alex, all her friends, and all who provided gifts and support for their generosity, as this donation will really make a difference to our charity this year.”

For further information on how you can create your own fundraiser, contact Michelle at the Melanoma Fund at or call 07899551046.  For further details regarding the charity visit