'Thank you' – grieving Elgin parents touched after fundraiser in memory of only son Philip Polese (13) raises nearly £8000 for charities which helped them cope with loss
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AN ELGIN couple have issued a heartfelt thank-you to locals who helped raise thousands of pounds for charities in memory of their 13-year-old son who tragically took his own life a year ago.
Philip Polese, a former St Sylvester's Primary School and Elgin High School pupil, ended his life in November last year. He had been experiencing bouts of bullying.
The shock and heartbreak was felt throughout Moray and beyond.
His parents, Kay and Eddie Polese, of McMillan Avenue, organised a community challenge to raise £2000 for charities which have helped them cope with the loss of their treasured only son.
People were asked to walk, run or cycle a collective 2000km and a fun day was held at The Warehouse@ Elgin Youth Café, where Philip was an enthusiastic regular, on September 18.
The 2000km figure represented the distance between Elgin and the Italian city of Pordenone, as Philip was very proud of his part-Italian roots.
They smashed their target, raising £7800, which Kay and Eddie said was a fantastic tribute to Philip.
Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance, Finlay's Friends and Archie's Child Bereavement Service Grampian will share the cash.
Kay said: "We really thought we were being ambitious when we decided to match our fundraising target to the 2000km challenge, but have been absolutely stunned by the widespread community response.
"We have raised £7800, which we feel is a wonderful tribute to Philip's memory and has brought great comfort to us as a family.
"It means instead of splitting £2000 between our three chosen charities, we are able to donate £2600 to each of them.
"The charities are over the moon as this will make a significant contribution to their work."
Eddie added: "The response has been so moving and there are just so many people who have taken part that it is impossible to name them all.
"The fantastic sum achieved reflects heart-warming support from across the community, from family, friends, St Sylvester's Primary School, both Elgin secondary schools, the Warehouse@ Elgin Youth Café, my RAF Lossiemouth colleagues, and countless individuals who generously donated or set themselves individual challenges.
"We are so grateful to each and every one of them."
Kay and Eddie wished to thank Moray Sports Centre and Tesco Elgin, which supported the fun day with Spin bikes and fruit for a smoothie bike activity, and The Northern Scot for publicity support.
Kay added: "The pain of losing Philip is indescribable and we miss him hugely all the time – but to feel that his memory is carried in so many hearts, near and far, is of comfort to us and we just wanted to express our heartfelt thanks to everyone."