Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond today visited Malcolm Sargent House, CLIC Sargent’s Prestwick holiday home, with artist Gerard Burns after his painting of him raised £51,500 for the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people.
Gerard’s ‘14 for 14’ exhibition was launched during the 2014 Commonwealth Games, and featured 14 Scots who inspired him. The fundraising exhibition raised money for 14 charities – with proceeds from the auction of his portrait of Alex Salmond going to CLIC Sargent.
The First Minister was joined by Gerard as he presented the cheque to staff at Malcolm Sargent House and met with a group of young people and their families who have been supported by CLIC Sargent, as he had a tour of the house.
First Minister Alex Salmond, said: “I am honoured that the highly acclaimed artist Gerard Burns asked to paint a portrait of me as part of his ‘14 for 14’ exhibition. Gerard is a fantastic artist, a real treasure of Scotland and he has done a marvellous job with this painting.
“CLIC Sargent offers essential respite for children, young people and their families who are inevitably going through a very difficult time and I’m delighted that the painting has raised £51,500 for such a worthy cause.”
Every year, CLIC Sargent helps hundreds of families to take a short break, free of charge, at Malcolm Sargent House in Ayrshire. Offering holidays for young people and their families during and after treatment, as well as shorter breaks during the weekends or low season, accommodation and all meals are provided free of charge, giving families the chance to get away from the stresses of daily life and spend precious time together.
Burns said he decided to paint Scots who inspired him to mark 2014 as a landmark year for Scotland, with the recent Independence Referendum and Commonwealth Games and, and has organised the multi-charity event that celebrates each character he has chosen to paint, whilst raising funds for each of his sitters' chosen charities.
Gerard Burns said: “I was absolutely over the moon when the First Minister decided it would be CLIC Sargent who would benefit from the proceeds of this painting, because it is a charity that is very close to my heart and one that I have a longstanding commitment to support.
“I am eternally grateful to the business community in Scotland who via this portrait, have donated so generously to this wonderful charity. By doing so they have made it possible for CLIC Sargent to continue their amazing work and in particular the services that Malcolm Sargent house provides, which is vital, particularly for families who are going through such a tough time.”
CLIC Sargent Community Fundraising Manager, May Gilchrist, said: "We were thrilled to welcome the First Minister and Gerard Burns to Malcolm Sargent House, and it was fantastic to see the artwork which raised vital money for CLIC Sargent.
“CLIC Sargent currently reaches two out of three children and young people with cancer and the money raised at auction from Gerard’s brilliant painting will help the charity to be there for even more families in need of support.”