IT WAS a full house for some of West Fife’s most deserving charities this week following the inaugural Press Community Champions Awards.

The awards, held earlier this month in association with RE/MAX Dunfermline at the Glen Pavilion, celebrated and honoured the achievements and tireless endeavours undertaken every day by the unsung heroes of our communities in Dunfermline and West Fife.

More than 200 guests at the sell-out event took part in a special charity bingo game put on by one of our category sponsors, Carlton Bingo, popping a donation into an envelope for the chance to play along.

Their goodwill and generosity helped raise the fantastic sum of nearly £1200 and the Press decided to split this between the three charities nominated in our Charity Champion of the Year category, sponsored by Stevenson Funeral Directors.

Each picking up a cheque for £398.29 on Monday were Scott McCrindle, who raises money for Leukaemia Care; the Benarty Fundraisers; and award winners on the night, The Cookie Jar Foundation.

Debbie Coutts establised The Cookie Jar Foundation with the help of her family in memory of her son, Christopher, also known as ‘Cookie’, who died in 2013 from Hodgkins Lymphoma. They have raised around £33,000 so far and, among other projects, have bought vein-finders for hospitals.

Debbie said, “We were overwhelmed to win. We have only been going 18 months and the person who nominated us was someone who had actually used the equipment we had provided.

“We would like to thank RE/MAX and the Press for a wonderful evening. Most people know us for providing vein-finders but, because we are a community charity, people apply for various different things and so this money will go towards that kitty and therefore go straight back into the community.” Benarty Fundraisers are a group of 10 community activists across Ballingry, Glencraig, Lochore and Crosshill, who have already amassed more than £15,000 to help stage various events in the community.

Secretary Lea McLelland said, “We were thankful just to be nominated and to receive this cheque is overwhelming. It will make a huge difference to what we will be able to do in the community. We put family events on through the course of the year and this money will go towards the Spooky Walk that we put on at Halloween.” Scott McCrindle was signed by Cowdenbeath FC but in 2009 he was diagnosed with leukaemia. At just 18, he was determined not to let the illness beat him and raised money for the cancer ward at the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy. That money went towards buying TVs, DVDs, tea and coffee machines, books and toys and, now 24, he is raising money for Leukaemia Care.

He said, “I’d like to thank the Press for running the bingo on the night with Carlton Bingo and thank everyone on the night who bought the bingo cards and gave so generously to play along. A sum like £400 goes a long way for any charity and I know first-hand the difference this sort of money makes. It can help you as a patient and your family and I can’t thank everyone enough.” Adrian King, of main awards sponsors RE/MAX Dunfermline, said, “It’s been a sheer pleasure to be involved in such an uplifting and humbling project. Everyone at Re/max Dunfermline has been amazed by the fabulous community-minded people we have on our doorstep. Today has been the icing on the cake, being part of the cheque presentation to 3 amazing local causes.”