Celebrity golf day set to raise vital funds for Bubble Foundation

Celebrities will be swinging into action to help Bubble Foundation with fundraising charity golf day

Brian McFadden with Isaac Connelly during his time in the unit
Brian McFadden with Isaac Connelly during his time in the unit

Celebrities will turn out in force for a charity golf day in aid of the Bubble Foundation.

Hosted by patron of the charity Brian McFadden, Golf Rocks is an exclusive event that will combine music and golf at Stoke Park Golf club, in Buckinghamshire.

Irish singers Ronan Keating, Keith Duffy and Kian Egan will be among those swinging into action at the event on June 27. Other stars include television personalities Denise Van Outen and broadcaster Neil ‘Dr’ Fox.

Brian said: “I am extremely excited about the inaugural Golf Rocks 2014 event taking place at Stoke Park Golf Club. It is set to be a brilliant day and evening.

“The main aim of the day is to raise as much awareness and funds as possible for the Bubble Foundation, which I have been a patron of for a while now and is close to my heart since first visiting the ward many years ago.

“The response I have received from sponsors, celebrities playing in the day and people in general has been absolutely brilliant.”

Teams will battle it out to win the Bubble Foundation Cup. They will also compete in the overall competition for a variety of prizes. After golf, there will be a three-course dinner and prize ceremony. Guests will also have the opportunity to bid on fantastic auction prizes, all in aid of charity.

After dinner, there will be an evening party with a performance from Brian and some special surprise guests.

Gill Johnston, fundraising manager for the Bubble Foundation, said: “When we met up with Brian in London last year he told us he intended to organise a golf competition but we never imagined it would be as big as this.

“Over the last few months we have watched as the celebrities have signed up and the event has evolved into a fantastic and unique occasion. There will be 10 of us travelling down for the evening concert and we look forward to meeting everyone who has supported the event.

“Fundraising has been very difficult over the last 12 months and we could not be more grateful for the help and support Brian and his team are giving us, which will not only raise vital funds but raise awareness outside the North East.

“Brian will be in Newcastle at the end of the year and hopefully he will visit us and see first-hand how the funds he has raised make a difference to these precious children’s lives.”

In October, The Journal launched a campaign to raise funds for the Bubble Foundation, which helps youngsters with defective immune systems.

More than 20 years ago, the charity was set up in support of Newcastle’s Bubble Unit, but sadly there has been a sharp reduction in donations.

As a result, the Foundation is at serious risk of closure and if this were to happen the impact would be significant.

The charity raises funds for medical equipment, toys, educational aids and, importantly, pays for research.

One man who knows the life-saving work that goes on in the Bubble Unit at the Great North Children’s Hospital is Phil Simpson, 25, of Belmont, County Durham.

When the accounts assistant was five years old he was diagnosed with a serious immune deficiency that would have claimed his life had he not received a bone marrow transplant 10 years ago.

He said: “I’m so grateful for the treatment that I received at the Bubble Unit and I can’t give, or say anything, that would be enough. I owe my life to the unit.

“It’s so important that there are fundraising events such as Golf Rocks, particularly when many small charities are struggling with the current economic climate.”

For more information about the Golf Rocks event visit @GolfRocks2014.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer