Charity set up in memory of Channing schoolgirl Allie Wylie marks its second birthday
The mother of a Channing schoolgirl, who set up a foundation in memory of her daughter, said she would have been “delighted and enormously touched” by the overwhelming support for the charity that bears her name.
On Valentine’s Day the Alexandra Wylie Tower Foundation celebrated a bitter-sweet second birthday with a party at High Tea of Highgate, complete with especially made pink cupcakes and a visit from the charity’s patron, Highgate actress Juliet Stevenson.
In the 24-months since the foundation was created, it has raised many thousands of pounds to help underprivileged children achieve their dreams.
In November 2010 local schoolgirl Allie, as she was known was known to her friends, lost her battle with an incurable cancer.
Three months later, the Alexandra Wylie Tower Foundation was set up by her parents Lindsey and Rob Wylie, with its pink logo and tagline “a passion for life”.
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The words were chosen because they were ones that everyone who knew 17-year-old Allie would have said of her.
“Every death is shocking, and people were shocked when Allie died,” said her mother Ms Wylie. “She had lots of passion for life and seemed to inspire people around her.
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“We didn’t want to sit around and be sad, we wanted to do something in her name.”
Salvaging what little hope they could, Allie’s family and friends set about raising money for the foundation by doing the many things that Allie loved.
Highlights so far have included breaking the world record for the longest ice conga at Alexandra Palace and countless sponsored sporting events.
The charity has also taken part in many community activities, including releasing dozens of pink balloons at Fair In The Square in Highgate.
“I have been overwhelmed,” said her mother, of the success the foundation. “People have been so generous with their time and their expertise and so enthusiastic about helping.
“It was set up in extremely tragic circumstances, but it seems to have attracted a lot of nice energy.”
She added: “I think Allie would have been delighted. She would have been enormously touched by how much effort people have put into doing personal things for her – galas at the ice rink, people have put a lot of work into tributes and she would have loved things like the picnic in Waterlow Park which we organised in the summer and the stall at Fair In The Square.
Mrs Wylie described Allie as “very much a local girl” and said she wanted the work of the foundation to reflect that.
“Alexandra was born in the house where we set up the charity and she went to Channing School,” said her mother.
“She was very involved with extra-curricular activities here and I think she’d be very pleased that this was grounded so firmly in north London.”
Allie’s friends, who are now at university all over the country, continue to run the foundation’s website and twitter account.
They also recently chose the name for a sanctuary run from her home in Gladsmuir Road that opens in March.
Allie’s Sanctuary will offer acupuncture and massage treatments with proceeds going towards the foundation.
Mrs Wylie, who was a director of a charity when Allie was a child, said her young daughter used to say that she wanted to go into the family business.
“She was always very interested – I think it would have always been part of her life,” said Mrs Wylie.
To find out more about the foundation or make a donation, visit www.awtf.org