A charity set up in memory of Ardler woman Tracey Burke is set to launch with a bang at a fundraising event this summer.
Besty’s was officially registered as a charity in January by Tracey’s husband Greg Burke, only months after his wife lost her three-year fight with cervical cancer.
Locals had raised £100,000 in just six weeks to fly Tracey to Germany for specialist private treatment – but at the age of 30 her fight came to an end.
Inspired by Tracey’s battle against cancer and his late mum Margaret’s fundraising efforts – which earned her an MBE – Greg wanted to start giving back to the community which supported him in his darkest hour.
To that end, he has set out plans for Bestyfest – a 13-hour festival of music and fun at Mains Castle on July 21. Among the acts are Dundee bands Th13ves and The Ruvellas, tributes to Oasis and Ocean Colour Scene and local DJs such as Hannah Laing and Mike McDonald.
Greg also hopes to stage auctions, raffles and other fun activities to raise money with which he can help locals in need.
“I set up Besty’s in Tracey’s memory so we can help people in and around Dundee,” Greg said.
“I put on a wee event at the Nine Maidens last year and people were asking if I was doing it again next year – so now we’re going to do it every year.”
The spirit of Besty’s has been alive and well for some time, with cash already donated to some local youngsters in need.
But now Besty’s has been officially recognised as a charity in Scotland, Greg has the means to widen the group’s scope.
“It’s been registered since January but Bestyfest will be the point at which it really takes off,” he said.
“It’s pretty much like a big launch event for the charity – and then we’ll be asking people to consider donating a bit of money, £5 or £10, each month.
“My mum did a lot of charity work – that, combined with all the fundraising that people did to help Tracey, made me want to start a charity in her name.
“I want to give back – and there’s no better way to do that than by helping others.”
Focusing on the formation and promotion of Besty’s has been a welcome distraction for Greg since losing Tracey in September.
Teammates in Fintry Athletic agreed to fly the Besty’s flag on their strip in January – and have since notched up some good results in the North of Tay Cup.
Greg has taken time away from his work as a gas engineer to readjust to life – at Tracey’s request – spending the last few months travelling and sorting out the admin needed to make Besty’s a reality.
He added: “I went back to work for three or four weeks and my head was just bursting.
“Tracey told me to take a year out and that’s what I’m planning on doing.
“I’m a bit up and down at the moment. I miss her every day but I’m getting there. She was one of a kind.”
“All my mates have been really supportive, I’ve got a great network around me.
“Her legacy will live on through the charity, her and my mum’s, and I just want to see it go from strength to strength.”
Tickets for Bestyfest are on sale now for £20 per person, available from clothing shop Manifesto on Commercial Street and the Stobswell Bar.