Two weeks after the passing of Wildcats founder and volunteer, Bette Paulin, some players from the Highland Academy Community League (a community project by the Highland Wildcats) visited the Maggie’s Highland Centre to hand over money that they raised from selling pink bands at the opening game day of the 2014 season.
The three players who handed over the money were instrumental (along with their families) in organising the fundraising idea and were three members that played in the last season that Bette was on the sidelines. Mark Pyper, Steven Oag and Haris Ryalls handed over £121 which was very welcomed by staff at the Cancer support centre.
Maggie’s provides free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their family and friends, following the ideas about cancer care originally laid out by Maggie Keswick Jencks.
Built in the grounds of NHS cancer hospitals, Maggie’s Centres are places with professional staff on hand to offer the support people need.
Leighann Chisholm, one of the Wildcats parents and one of the main drivers behind the fundraising idea said, “So proud of all the boys! They all loved Bette very much and this was a small gesture from them to let her know how much she is going to be missed by them all.”
Bette was a regular visitor to the Maggie’s Centre after being diagnosed with Cancer in 2012 and again in late 2013. After Bette’s death, kind words of support poured in from all over the globe especially from the American football community. Below are just a few along of these along with a special tribute from the Inverness Courier.
“Bette was a breath of fresh air and a wonderful soul. In the brief moments and times I got a chance to be with her, I could feel her warmth and sincere genuine nature. I am so glad I got to meet her.” – Former NFL player and Sky Sports Presenter, Cecil Martin
“Everywhere you went in American Football world, if Inverness were involved Bette was there. She showed as much enthusiasm for everything around the Blitz as any of the kids.” – Jimmy Thomson, Grangemouth Broncos
“Bette was a a wonderful woman who helped so many and even told me I wasnt to big to get a slapped bum when she heard me swearing during one of our games.” Don Edmonson, Edinburgh Wolves head coach
“Bette was mother away from home for most of us.” – Petr Blaschko, former Wildcats player
“A fantastic women who helped me no end when I started out having to deal with football paperwork and the red tape” – James Colins, Edinburgh Wolves Youth Head Coach
“She welcomed us all into the fold of the Blitz as if we were family, and was truly a shining ray of light on even the darkest, dreariest days.” – Chris Gordon, former Wildcats player
“I’m extremely happy she was part of my life and I will never forget her. See was a wonderful person and we will all miss her. She treated all her Wildcats as one of her own.” – Craig Findlay, former Wildcats player.
“Bette has been a mum, a camera lady, a physio, a great friend, a bubbly shot of motivation in down times, an inspiring figure and much much more.” – Laurie Cuthbertson, former Wildcats player