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    MacKenzie Furniss Mascot 

    Tuesday, August 27, 2013 6:57:04 PM

    Mackenzie Furniss hailed as first Wasps mascot of the season

    Sauchie youngster Mackenzie Furniss, who has touched the hearts of many and seen the Forth Valley community rally round in a bid to raise £350,000 for life-saving treatment to help beat her childhood cancer, became Alloa Athletic Football Club's first mascot of the season on Saturday.

    Nine-year-old Mackenzie, who has stage 4 neuroblastoma, took to the pitch at Recreation Park to meet some of her local footballing heroes, including Wasps manager Paul Hartley, as part of a VIP experience which also helped to raise awareness and boost the coffers of her appeal.

    Flanked by a team of fundraisers and best friend Carly Watt, who dedicated her school summer holidays to collecting cash for Mackenzie's cause, the nine-year-old met with players and officials on a whistle-stop tour of the club, where she was also kitted out in the full gold and black Wasps strip.

    She received a host of goodies and, after wishing the Wasps luck, Mackenzie and dad Jason ran out onto the pitch where they flipped the coin to help start the game against Cowdenbeath.

    And having Mackenzie as their special mascot certainly proved lucky for the Wasps, who won 3-1 against the Fife team.

    Lynne Thomson, a lead fundraiser for the Mackenzie Furniss Appeal who joined them on the day, said: “Mackenzie and her best pal, Carly, got to meet all the players and Mackenzie even got to run on to the pitch with her dad.

    “The team really made a fuss of Mackenzie and gave her lots of lovely presents, including a football strip, a signed football and she got to keep the ball they played with during the game.

    “Mackenzie was over the moon because she even got the pound coin they flipped at the beginning of the game - which said she was going to keep!

    “Both girls were given a goody bag to go home with and we hear they  had an absolute ball - which is so very nice to hear especially after Mackenzie had been in hospital that week.”

    Fundraising outside the stadium helped to bring the collection total to £120K – after which the Furniss family received the exciting news that the Scottish Government have agreed to cover a percentage of the cost of Mackenzie's treatment here in Scotland.

    Although half of Mackenzie's treatment will now be carried out at Yorkhill Hospital in Glasgow, she's still to receive part of it in Germany – for which costs must be covered and fundraisers are urging people 'don't take your foot off the gas just yet; we still need you'.

    To make a donation, go to www.justgiving.com/Appeal4Mackenzie, or text MACK83 and your amount between £1 and £10 to 70070.

    For more information, contact Head of PR & Media Relations Lynda Hamilton, The Mulraney Group, at lynda.hamilton@mulraney.com or on 01592 890520/07706134400.


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