Harry Potter star Alan Rickman opens ice gala in memory of Highgate student
Acclaimed actors Alan Rickman and Juliet Stevenson were among the guests at a skating gala which raised �5,500 for a charity set up in memory of a Channing student.
Alexandra Wylie, a keen ice skater known to her friends as Allie, was in her first year at sixth form at the Highgate school when she died from a rare form of cancer last November, aged just 17.
Friends of the talented schoolgirl performed to a medley of Allie’s favourite songs at the Alexandra Palace ice skating rink in an emotional tribute to her love of the sport.
Lindsey Wylie, Allie’s mum, said: “It was an extraordinary evening. We feel that Alexandra was very lucky to have what is now being called the ‘Alexandra Palace Family’ and Allie’s father and I are so grateful to them for opening their arms and hearts to us and to the Alexandra Wylie Tower Foundation.”
Michelle Collins, a Muswell Hill resident best known for playing Cindy Beale in Eastenders, presented Allie’s parents Robert and Lindsey Wylie with a cheque for �12,500 – part of her winnings from Celebrity Who Wants to be a Millionaire.
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Molly Lipson, 17, who first met Allie when they were both skating in a production of Cinderella, was one of the ‘Alexandra Palace family’ who organised the event.
She said: “The gala was amazing. When we were standing there looking at the packed audience and Alan Rickman, we suddenly realised the extent of what we had put on. It was really emotional.
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“It was the first big event for the charity and it grabbed peoples’ attention. And it was a fitting tribute to Allie.”
The money raised from the gala will go towards a project to launch a new after school club the Alexandra Wylie Tower Foundation is setting up with Kids Company, to keep Allie’s indomitable spirit alive.
Allie’s Club, as it will be known, will work to provide new opportunities with vulnerable children, and Lindsey Wylie hopes that one of its first tasks will be to instigate trips to skating rinks for children who may never have been on the ice before.
Emma Layard-Roberts, 18, a fellow skater who went to Channing with Allie, said: “Allie was such a bubbly person, she was always happy and fun and made everyone laugh.
“It is lovely to think that her love of the sport will be passed in through this project.”
For more information about the charity visit www.awtf.org