A whopping £540,000 has been raised for Ninewells-based charity Maggie’s Dundee after 82 specially designed penguin statues were sold off at the V&A.
Last night’s auction was the first external event held at the new design museum at Dundee’s Waterfront and attracted 300 visitors who vied for the statues, with two extra-special “baby” penguins also up for grabs.
The penguins had spread excitement across the area this summer with the statues scattered in locations across Dundee city centre, Broughty Ferry, St Andrews, Newport, Perth, Kirriemuir and Brechin.
The most expensive purchase was the P-pick up the Phone Penguin (above) by artist Gail Stirling, which was displayed at the Overgate. This was snapped up for £11,000.
Shirley Linton, chairman of Maggie’s Dundee, said: “The penguins were in the pipeline for over three years so to see them lined up ready for new homes after such a phenomenal response is surreal.
“It has allowed for fun, family time and a lot of photo opportunities on the way.
“It’s been a joy to hear people’s feedback, whether sharing notes on their favourites or the general buzz about them.”
Tennis coach Judy Murray was one of the winners, bidding £10,000 for Don (above), which was drawn by Angela Nisbet.
The penguin, which was sited at The Fergusson Gallery in Perth, was based on the 2013 Wimbledon win by Judy’s son Andy.
The penguin is wearing an adidas top, with the Wimbledon trophy and strawberries on the front and scoreboard at the back.
Judy Murray said: “I loved the idea of the trail. It was really innovative and was a great idea to get families involved.
“It was creative and I am delighted they have hit the target of a year’s support for the charity.
“Our plan is to put the penguin in the reception of the tennis centre we are building in Dunblane.”
— judy murray (@JudyMurray) September 24, 2018
The auction was the culmination of the trail and comes two years after the similar Oor Wullie Bucket Trail raised £883,000 for the Archie Foundation’s Tayside Children’s Hospital Appeal.
Some of the folk who won the 82 penguins had bid online. Each of the winners will be able to collect their penguins on Wednesday morning.
Maggie’s Chief Executive Laura Lee said: “It has been a joy to watch the Maggie’s Penguin Parade unfold – from an idea by our Maggie’s Dundee Fundraising Board Chair Shirley Linton, to seeing the happiness they spread while stationed around Tayside, to auction where they have found new homes while raising an extraordinary amount to help Maggie’s reach as many people with cancer as possible.
“It has been an inspiring and uplifting way of raising essential funds for our cancer support centre in Dundee while also informing a whole new audience of the free practical and emotional support available at Maggie’s across Scotland and the rest of the UK.”