Monday, 26 January 2015

Probus Coming Good

I have to admit that,I had never heard of Probus until recently. Not until my good friend Basil Strickland pointed me in the right direction and told me they would be a good target for my fund-raising talks about Vic's Big Walk.

Probus clubs are for retired or semi-retired business or professional people who, in retirement, appreciate and value opportunities to meet others in similar circumstances and with similar interests.

I am such a retired business person so I am surprised that I did not know of them before. It seems they started in 1965 so maybe I can blame the fact that I have lived overseas for much of that period.

Anyway, as soon as Basil told me about Probus, I included them in my marketing program. I found that they have regular meetings, once or twice a month, and that they frequently have a guest speaker at the meetings. So far, so good. Then I discovered that the Probus clubs I was contacting, like the WI, frequently have their speaker program mapped out for more than a year in advance. 

This was a little disheartening, but I plugged on. Not only is mine a  long-term project, having set my fundraising targets for my 80th birthday in 2020, but I began to emphasise that I can do my talk at the drop of a hat. As we all know, stuff happens, and speakers can fall by the wayside or be unavailable at equally short notice. 

On that basis I have had a good response from some of the clubs and made a bit of a breakthrough this week. One of the clubs I approached now wants to talk to me in detail about my talk, And another Probus club, which I had not even contacted, rang me and arranged a talk on the spot, for March. 

I know you have suggestions for talk or signing venues. No matter how crazy, let me know. I will talk to anybody. Or, if you want a signed copy of one of my books in return for a donation, or to contact me for any other reason, email me on:

Don't be shy. No venue is too small or too large. We have a disease to beat here.

If all other ideas fail you, why, you could just go to the "Donate" button on this page and send your money to the cause.

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Wednesday, 14 January 2015

I Write Books To Save Lives

Wanted - Vic Heaney

And his books

I feel like a bandit in the Old West, confronted by wanted posters wherever he turned. But in my case it is nice to feel wanted.

There are more than 20 of these posters in the Lytham St Annes Area and those pictured are just those advertising my book signing stint at the Methodist Church Table-Top Sale on January 31st (0900 to 1300). There are also posters advertising my evening gig on the same day at JPs cafe in Lytham, at which I will be talking about my Big Walk project and the book about that.

I will be emphasising at these and subsequent events that the reason for my activities, and for writing the books, is to raise funds which will hopefully help to find a breakthrough in the treatment of pancreatic cancer, and also to raise awareness of what a scourge it is. It is one of the biggest cancer killers, but a very poor relation when it comes to receiving public funds.

And why is the survival rate just 4% in Britain when it is 6% in USA and Australia?

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Giving It Up For January? Think of those who will not be alive when you open your first bottle on February 1st

You could save other lives beside your own.

This seems to be a growing trend - giving up booze or something else for January. Whether this is to help lose weight, to "detox" or just to help yourself feel good, it is probably no bad thing. Not sure the breweries will agree with that, though.

Another trend which is running in parallel with this abstention is to put aside or calculate the money saved, and donate it to a worthy cause.

Guessed what I am going to say next? Got it in one! The objective of the "Vic Talks The Walk" project is to raise funds for sufferers from pancreatic cancer. Mainly through my own efforts, writing and selling books of which proceeds go to the cause; addressing clubs, coffee mornings, et cetera about my mammoth walk, sitting in at "table top sales", again with the intention of selling personally signed copies of the books, dedicated to the buyer or his/her designated recipient.

But I will not turn up my nose at direct donations.

If you are giving up booze or anything else for January, consider this. After you take that decision on January 1st, there will be people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, who will not be alive when you open your first bottle on February 1st. 

There has been no progress in the diagnosis or treatment of pancreatic cancer in the past 40 years. Progress can only come from research funded by people like us. At some stage, one donation will make the difference, will fund the longed-for breakthrough. That donation could come from you.

If it comes from savings made during your alcohol-free January, it will not have cost you a penny. It will save lives for evermore. And you yourself will be healthier than at the start of the year.

It's a win-win, isn't it?

Please pour your booze money into the "sponsor me" button at the top right of this page.