Lynne's race to raise £150,000

CHARITY dinner parties, a postcard challenge and a 120ft high zip slide will form part of fundraiser Lynne McNicoll's most ambitious challenge yet - collecting £150,000 in just one month.

The September Challenge kicks off next Wednesday and runs throughout the month, with dozens of events arranged to capture the imagination of the Edinburgh public.

The goal is to raise enough money for Mrs McNicoll to "go shopping" for a piece of land to build a respite house for families affected by cancer, which will include all the facilities to enable a young cancer patient and their family to go away on holiday and spend time together.

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September has also been dubbed "kindness month" by Mrs McNicoll, who set up her own charity It's Good 2 Give! at the start of the year.

As well as taking part in the numerous fundraising events, she has pledged to do one random act of kindness every day throughout the month and is encouraging others to follow suit.

Mrs McNicoll, 54, from Craiglockhart, said: "Kindness is my core, it's the way I was brought up.

"I just feel that in this 21st century, there is a lot of kindness happening, but we could be doing even more because we've got a bit busy and sometimes we just forget."

Scotland's fundraiser of the year is encouraging people to do something simple such as handing in old DVDs to a hospice, letting a fellow motorist out in front of you, or giving blood, and will be keeping a blog of her own acts of kindness.

Mrs McNicoll has been trying to come up with inventive ways of getting the public to put their hands in their pockets to help her achieve her ambitious 150,000 target.

Throughout the month, the Around the World in 80 Meals event will take place, where participants pick a country from a list of 80 on her fundraising website, host a dinner party for family, friends or colleagues who will then dine in return for a donation.

Mrs McNicoll is hosting her own "gourmet giving" event by cooking a Scottish-themed feast with a twist by making haggis lasagne, haggis pakora and haggis nachos for her guests.

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Also running throughout the month is the postcard challenge where members of the public are invited to take a pound coin, stick it to an It's Good To Give! postcard, make the coin part of an artistic design, and then return the postcard to the charity.The winning card will receive a prize and the best efforts will go on display in Zed art gallery in Cumberland Street.

Mrs McNicoll has printed 5,000 postcards and she hopes they will all be snapped up.

Other events include the zip slide in Inverleith Park and Hatwalk on September 11, a cupcake auction on September 15 and a New York-themed fashion show on September 30.

After putting months of preparation into the event, Mrs McNicoll said: "It's been a huge amount of work and planning but I want to get that money because it really would allow us to go shopping.

"We really need to have the money in the bank before we start looking at bits of land and this will really get us started."

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