Adrian and Kylie Raftery experienced the stillbirth of their daughter, Sophie Cleo, on 14th December 2008. They received a Bear from Bears Of Hope and drew great comfort and support as it became an integral part of their grieving and healing. Before he said goodbye to Sophie, Adrian made a promise to his daughter that he would make a difference.
Adrian approached us and said that he wanted to raise $15,000 for Bears Of Hope to purchase a bulk number of teddy bears. Adrian came up with this wild idea to not only run in the Blackmore’s Sydney Marathon, but that he would do it in a leprechaun suit!
Larry the Leprechaun created an online fundraising page through GoFundraise to receive donations, ran the Gold Coast Half Marathon, the Hunter Valley Half Marathon, and the City 2 Surf as a dress rehearsal for the big run. He set up a facebook group, contacted the local media, held an online auction and a fundraising trivia night. He subjected himself to running 30km every weekend leading up to the marathon. We were totally overwhelmed and humbled by his creativity, his inspiring attitude and his determination to see his promise through.
On 20 September 2009, Larry ran and completed that 42.2km course. It is a moment we will never forget and one we know his wife and his precious daughter Sophie will always be so proud of.
Adrian and Kylie raised over $28,000 for Bears of Hope.
It has been a dream for us to develop our very own Bear Of Hope, and due to Adrian's fundraising endeavours, we have seen this dream realised with the launch of our first Bear Of Hope at our Inaugural Charity Ball held on October 10th, 2009.
Our Bear Of Hope needed a special name and it was only fitting that we call her ~Sophie~.
Adrian did make a difference and Sophie's memory will now live on through each Bear Of Hope.