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The Impact of the Pipes

An Unbelievable Story


This letter was sent by Dawn Baldwin a piper in Des Moines, IA to R.G. Hardie & Co. Ltd. Glasgow, United Kingdom for the donation of a set of Peter Henderson Great Highland Bagpipes at the 2018 Winter Storm Weekend in Kansas City Mo.

This will be the second time that I have had the privilege of writing to you to thank you for your donation of bagpipes to the Winter Storm raffle in Kansas City. I am still using the set that I won 2 years ago and truly enjoy playing them! I was lucky enough to win the raffle again this year, much to my surprise, and that of Ken Eller, when he realized what was happening .
To give you some background. We purchased 2 raffle tickets for the drums and 2 for the pipes, when we arrived at Winter Storm on Thursday night. Another piper from our group, Mark Hurm, had paid me for some bagpipe supplies that I had picked up for him, earlier in the day, and when we arrived at the concert on Saturday, it appeared that there were still many raffle tickets available, so I purchased 2 more pipe tickets with the money from Mark. I have no idea which ticket was actually the winning ticket.
When I won the pipes 2 years ago, I had offered them to Mark, as I wasn't ready to play them yet. He refused to take them. He is responsible for my being interested in the bagpipes and has been more than encouraging to me as I have progressed on this journey of learning to play the bagpipes and has always
been there to help me and get me through the rough spots. Without his support, I'm not sure that I would be playing the bagpipes or be a member of the MacKenzie Highlanders Pipes and Drums of Iowa. The bagpipes that I won at this year's raffle are now in his capable hands. I could think of no better way to thank him than to give him this beautiful set of bagpipes. Fortunately this year he accepted the bagpipes, with a little convincing.
I would not have been able to show my thanks and gratitude to Mark in such an appropriate way, had it not been for your donation. The encouragement you are providing to pipers with this donation cannot be adequately expressed. I also had the chance to meet with the person who won last year's raffle and he is still using the bagpipes you donated as his main set of bagpipes as he is so impressed with their quality. I will say that I can't agree with him more!
I just wanted you to know that your donations may not always be used as you envisioned it, but it is more appreciated that you will ever know. Thank you so much for your donation of the bagpipes to Winter Storm.
Sincerely, Dawn Baldwin


Dear Mark,

Please accept the heartfelt thanks of all the _______ Clan for your talented, utterly beautiful and respectful participation in _____ Service.  Your presence was the most important aspect and we hope you found satisfaction knowing you piped a true Scotsman on his ultimate journey.  With Best Wishes and profound appreciation.

Steven and Melanie

Mark, thank you so very much for playing at the funeral of our father. It was important to us that he have a proper Scottish funeral with the music he so enjoyed and the he had heard throughout his life.  The songs you chose to play were beautiful and I thank you for leading us to them. Dad would have been deeply touched by your selections and the skill with which you played your bagpipes.  Our Dad visited Scotland and his parent's home several times and loved the music, the land, and the people and their customs. Your beautiful clothing and music took all of us at the funeral back to the place where it all started--Scotland. Thank you, Most sincerely, family of ____

Robert S. Family