Film stars help sister’s movie charity effort

Ilona Wewiorski  pictured outside the GFT
Ilona Wewiorski pictured outside the GFT

A-list cinema stars have lent heartfelt personal support to a Lennoxtown woman’s unique fundraising tribute to her much-loved brother.

Kenneth Turlewicz suffered from heart disease and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) most of his life, and tragically died an untimely death ten years ago.

His sister Ilona Wewiorski wanted to do something special to mark the anniversary of his passing, and decided to stage a fundraiser based on a film theme, as cinema was one of the greatest loves of his life.

So she set about organising a private screening of his favourite film, Amadeus - a fictional account of the life of Mozart - in the Glasgow Film Theatre.

However she was bowled over when letters she sent to some of the central figures in Amadeus (1984) were answered in person.

Ilona said: “I received a message of support from Milos Forman, the director of the film, as well as from the renowned and much respected actor, Roy Dotrice, who plays Mozart’s father in the film and the equally prestigious Simon Callow – and these were read out on the day.

“As was a lovely story by Elizabeth Berridge, who plays Mozart’s wife, Constanze in the film, who wrote to me directly about how she got the part”.

Ilona is now almost half way towards her £3,000 target for the charities Shelter and OCD Action.

She said: “As Kenny’s sister, I wanted to mark the occasion of the 10th anniversary of his death on behalf of all close family and friends who knew him and who still struggle with his loss.

“He was a highly intelligent, creative and good person who cared about so many causes, but he had a particular concern for the homeless.

“He found it hard to pass a beggar on the street and always gave what little he had, even when that left him with only his bus fare home.

“Kenny didn’t get the chance to fulfil the truly great things which he was capable of and, I feel, was destined to achieve, had it not been due to the unfair and terrible afflictions of heart disease and OCD which he endured throughout most of his life.”

The fund is still open at https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/ilonawewiorski