Each year, Crerar Hotels gifts more than half of its profits to causes close to its heart, and close to its hotels, through the Crerar Trust.
For two decades, Crerar Hotels has been a continual supporter in the quest to beat Motor Neurone Disease. And with the Trust’s latest gift to Doddie Weir’s “Wounded Lions 500” campaign they have contributed more than £360,000 towards the fight.
Previously a substantial donation was made towards the pioneering work of MND sufferer and campaigner Euan MacDonald. The contribution provided Edinburgh University with ground-breaking technology, specifically designed to help hunt down an answer.
Crerar Hotels’ latest support is through sponsorship of the Wounded Lions 500 charity cycle in support of Doddie. Lead by former Scottish captain and British and Irish Lion Rob Wainwright, the Lions team will carry the Calcutta Cup match ball 500 miles from Twickenham to Murrayfield for the start of Scotland’s bid to retain the Calcutta Cup.
Crerar Hotels is adding muscle and grit to its financial help in the form of 20-year-old Rachel “Mouse” MacDonald, from Crerar’s Oban Bay Hotel, and Crerar Hotels’ master of wines, Tarquin de Burgh.
Rachel is a rugby player with Oban Lorne and a former wing and full back with Scotland Under 20s. Tarquin is a former British Triathlon world championship competitor. Their job is to see through the final push from Jedburgh rugby club to Murrayfield in time for kick off.
Crerar Hotels Chief Executive Paddy Crerar CBE said, “‘spirorad na h-Alba,’ or ‘spirit of Scotland,’ is our company motto. If anyone is the embodiment of the Scottish spirit it’s Doddie. An authentic man with a great heart, humour and real determination – we are all with him, as one.”
Alongside Rob, who is leading the Wounded Lions’ core group of cyclists, will be the rugby and sporting greats John Hall, Paddy Johns and John Barclay – plus Crerar Hotels’ riders, Rachel and Tarquin.
Rachel commented, “At the age of 20 I’m shocked to admit it’s been a few years since I got on anything more than an exercise bike. I’m sticking to my story that I’ve been too busy with my career at Crerar’s Oban Bay Hotel and Oban Lorne rugby club!
This will be a real challenge, which I love, and I’m looking forward to the 49 hard miles with the Wounded Lions. It’s a fantastic cause and I’m honoured to be cycling in the Crerar strip alongside some true sporting legends. I just hope these old guys can keep up!”
Tarquin added, “after meeting Rob Wainwright when he spoke at a lunch at Crerar’s Loch Fyne Hotel & Spa, I wanted to show my support. A former boss also suffers from MND like Doddie, so taking part to raise awareness and funds seemed like the right thing to do.”
Although better known as the founder of De Burgh Wine Merchants, Tarquin also works with Paddy on the Crerar Trust. And as Crerar Hotels’ master of wines, for this particular adventure he recommends “anything on the Crerar Hotels wine list, of course, but in particular a sweet wine with at least 100g residual sugar per litre!”