Wiltshire Publications

Issue 468 – Celebrity guitar auction in aid of charity

Thanks to a Westbury musician, a guitar autographed by some of the world’s top artists – including Nicholas Cage and Peter Gabriel – will appear in an ebay auction from Thursday 19th August.

100% of the money raised from the auction will be donated to the Bath’s “Space to Grow Campaign” at the Royal United Hospital.
The acoustic guitar is being sold by local musician Leander Morales who hopes the instrument will raise in excess of £1,500.
“Personally, I hope the guitar raises thousands. Maybe a local business, an autograph enthusiast, or a very generous wealthy person!” said musician and promoter Leander Morales.
All of the artists featured on the guitar have added their name to show support for the new unit, which will provide better care for premature babies at the RUH. The campaign is currently £500,000 from hitting the £4.7 million mark. Work has already begun on the site adjacent to the hospital, with a view to complete the build by autumn 2011.
Leander’s daughter Alana was born nearly 10 weeks premature back in 2004 and was cared for by the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) staff in Bath.
“Having saved my daughter’s life I felt it necessary to contribute my time towards helping raise funds towards the appeal.”
Radio 2 Folk award winners and local artists Cara Dillon and Sam Lakeman also had premature twins cared for by Bath’s NICU.
It was Cara Dillon and photographer Bob Condrey who obtained many of the signatures on the auctioned guitar whilst recording the Children In Need single ‘All you need is love’ with a host of stars at the Abbey Road studios last September. Since September, Leander has added a few more celebrity names to the instrument including Peter Gabriel, Sade and Hollywood actor Nicholas Cage.
Other names and supporters include; Bill Wyman (Stones), Nick Mason (Pink Floyd), Sharon Corr (The Corrs), Sir Terry Wogan, Adrian Edmondson, Paloma Faith and many more. A full list of names and details on how to bid on the guitar can be found at www. gm3music.co.uk
The lucky bidder will be able to pick the guitar up from the Forever Friends office at the RUH where they will also receive a certificate for their contribution.
The story of the guitar descends back to August 2009 when Leander and a group of friends walked from Westbury to London’s Trafalgar square to help raise funds for the unit. Their journey saw them gaining support from celebrities including Status Quo, Sophie Ellis Bextor, Sir Michael Parkinson and many others who donated signed goods to raffle at an event held last October. They raised a total of £6,500, which was presented to Forever Friends’ chairman, John Cullum, at the event held at Marston House.
“It was an amazing experience. There was an overwhelming level of support from people ranging from a pub landlord in Colnbrook who raised £700 and walked 20 miles with us to London, a £900 donation from the Somerset Standard & Guardian, Mrs Angela Yeoman and aggregate industries donated their amazing premises for an event, Jazz legend Pee Wee Ellis donated a performance, my friends donated their time to hike with me over a week and many others donated prizes, performances and amounts of money. The list of contributors is extensive!”
The Forever Friends Appeal is raising funds for state-of-the-art medical equipment and facilities, over and above that provided by the NHS for the Royal United Hospital. The Space to Grow campaign is raising money for the UK’s first sustainable neonatal intensive care unit, which is being built at the hospital. If you would like to host an event or donate towards the new unit, visit: www.foreverfriends.co.uk Telephone: (01225) 825825.