Winners who contributed to an auction which raised an astonishing £540,000 for a local cancer charity have told of their delight at being a part of an “amazing” night.
Tennis coach Judy Murray was among those to successfully bid for one of the hugely-popular Maggie’s Penguin Parade sculptures, splashing out £10,000 for a bird called Don inspired by her athlete son Sir Andy’s heroics at Wimbledon in 2013.
Other artworks were secured by local community organisations such as the Kirriemuir Regeneration Group and the Brechin Community Penguin Group, both of which fought off competition to retain the beloved sculptures in the Angus towns.
The total raised for Maggie’s Dundee at V&A Dundee on Monday night through the 82 lots on auction was £539,000, with a donation of £1,000 from the floor rounding the total figure to £540,000.
The top bid of the night was £11,000 for the P-Pick Up The Phone Penguin.
Speaking about securing Don following the auction, Ms Murray said: “It is a penguin that was based on Andy and his success at Wimbledon in 2013. It was an incredible night but it was an incredible campaign.
“Their goal was to make £540,000, which is what it costs to run a Maggie’s centre for a year, and they managed to achieve that so it was perfect,
“It was hugely flattering that they chose to create one of him (Sir Andy). It was amazing and it was great for us to be able to buy it.”
She hopes to put it at the reception area of a new tennis centre planned for Park of Keir, just outside of Dunblane.
James Arnott attended on behalf of the Kirriemuir Regeneration Group and – alongside its creator, artist Maureen Crosbie – successfully bid to keep the beloved Peter Panguin a feature of the town.
Speaking afterwards he said: “It feels absolutely wonderful and it is a great relief to know it is coming back to Kirriemuir. It was good to be within budget. Kirriemuir is synonymous with Peter Pan.
“Over the past months there has been lots and lots of work to bring this penguin back to Kirriemuir – raffles, bric-a-brac, auctions, there’s folk walking hundreds of miles, getting sponsorship. So there’s been everything done. Everybody has worked real hard.”
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Sarah Scorgie, Lynsey Gilbert and John Forster from the Brechin Community Penguin Group said their own bidding experience was particularly tense.
The contest came to a close at £6,000 – which was the exact amount raised by locals to secure the sculpture Penguin Street for the town.
Mr Forster, chairman of Forster Group, said: “Well it was actually more tense than anyone will ever realise because we had a certain amount of money that we’d raised from the community for tonight’s auction.
“If somebody had bid over the £6,000 we could have been in trouble but instead we were successful.”
There are now plans for a “welcome home party” for the penguin.
The trio also successfully bid for the Scotland’s Sunniest City penguin, which was sponsored by Forster Group. Plans are under way to make it the centrepiece of a garden display at the next Chelsea Flower Show.
Maggie’s Dundee fundraising board chairwoman Shirley Linton said: “The people’s generosity – and everyone here tonight who bid for penguins, who have supported us in lots of ways – that’s what’s contributed to this and we can’t thank them enough.”