Saturday, July 17, 2004

Potter author boosts firefighters charity effort Tayside fire officer Gordon McKenzie is being backed in his fund-raising efforts by top-selling author JK Rowling, who is supporting both her local fire brigade and a cause close to her heart. Two charities are set to benefit from the efforts of Divisional Officer McKenzie, who is Perth area temporary head of operations. It started with his idea to hurl himself out of a plane and has now incorporated an internet auction on eBay of a boxed set of Harry Potter books, one a first edition, which are all signed by the author herself. Gordon explained, I was sitting in the house a while back watching the TV and saw Lord Bath of Longleat doing a sponsored parachute jump. I said to my wife, I could do that, and she said, ˜Go on then, phone Margaret." Margaret is Margaret Barnes, Scottish fund-raiser for the Fire Services National Benevolent Fund (FSNBF). So there I was doing a tandem free-fall parachute jump for the FSNBF! I wanted to open up the event and wanted to do something for the MS Society, continued Gordon. He thought of asking JK Rowling if she would like to support the dual fund- raising. She is patron of MS Society Scotland, having lost her mother to the complications of the disease. The world-famous author bought a mansion house, Killiechassie, near Aberfeldy, a few years back and had already made a donation to her local fire brigade. It was great, one day a large box arrived at the house and inside was a complete boxed set of hard-back Harry Potters, all signed by the author and The Order Of The Phoenix is a first edition, said Gordon. They have been put on eBay since we expect there to be a lot of interest ¦and will be there until next Tuesday at 8 am.Firefighters from all over Scotland will also be taking part in the sponsored parachute jump near St Andrews on September 11.

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