Islay-based SCAA volunteer Katherine Urquhart accepts the cheque from (from left) Bruce Farquhar, Jim McEwan and Colin Fraser
Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA) is raising a toast to two of the most respected names in the world of whisky after receiving a £20,000+ donation to support its crucial lifeline to the country's islands.
Fromer Bruichladdich master Distiller Jim McEwan and independent bottler Dramfool staged a series of special events to celebrate Jim's lifetime in the whisky industry.
Living on Islay, McEwan and his family knew the value of air ambulance support for island and outlying communities, leading McEwan to name SCAA to receive funds from his swansong events, among which were a virtual masterclass tasting and a special single cask bottling that attracted support from whisky enthusiasts around the world.
"We were absolutely blown away by the interest and support we received for the online event and the special bottling," said Dramfool's Bruce Farquhar. "Having more than 260 people over at least eight time zones and 12 countries tune in for tasting was amazing.
"Then, to sell 314 bottles of the celebration Bruichladdich in just seven minutes was...among the fastest sellouts of any release we've ever had. It is this enthusiasm and affection for Jim McEwan, Islay and the work of Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance that resulted in such outstanding support from our clients."
Joining Farquhar and Colin Fraser from Dramfool to present a cheque for £20,549 to SCAA, McEwan expressed his pleasure at being able to support a charity close to his heart: "I've worked in Scotland's greatest industry all my days and now, as I hand over to the next generation, it seems appropriate to give something back to a charity that has proved a lifesaver to the people of Islay and other remote communities across Scotland.”
Nick Harvey, director of fundraising and communications at SCAA, said the support shown by McEwan and Dramfool would help save lives. "SCAA is a regular visitor to islands such as Islay and Jura to tend and airlift those seriously ill or injured," he added. "Our pre-hospital care and speed in getting patients to mainland care can literally prove a lifesaver. We're extremely grateful to both Jim and Dramfool – and the many hundreds who supported the events – for recognising the value of SCAA's life-saving service. Our thanks to everyone concerned."