The purpose of this site is for information and a record of Gerry McCann's Blog Archives. As most people will appreciate GM deleted all past blogs from the official website. Hopefully this Archive will be helpful to anyone who is interested in Justice for Madeleine Beth McCann. Many Thanks, Pamalam

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The 1,000 Day Anniversary Events*

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The McCanns take a break from the party to be photographed

Kate and Gerry McCann mark the 1,000th day of Madeleine's disappearance with a 'star-studded fund-raising dinner and auction' at the Kensington Roof Gardens in London.

Plans are made to release 1,000 sky lanterns across various locations in the UK, Portugal and America. However, poor weather conditions in the UK result in only one lantern being released by Kate's parents at Formby Football Club, none being released in Rothley and an alert being sparked in Scotland involving the police and the coastguard.

Gerry McCann:

"Of course we believe Madeleine is still alive but you would be incredible if you hadn't considered the worst scenario, that she's dead."

- Daily Express, 03 June 2007

(See full article below: 'Let's hold a Madeleine Day for the whole world')

Let's hold a Madeleine Day for the whole world, 03 June 2007
Let's hold a Madeleine Day for the whole world Daily Express (no longer available online)

By Jason Groves
03 June 2007
Thanks to Paulo Reis for archived article


ROCK legend Sir Elton John is being lined up to front a global pop concert, to carry the message of missing Madeleine McCann's plight to every corner of the earth.

It is hoped the singer will headline a huge series of worldwide events to mark a special Madeleine Day that her distraught parents are planning in the effort to find the vanished four-year-old. Sir Elton's popular appeal is guaranteed to attract a swarm of other film and music superstars keen to offer support to parents Gerry and Kate McCann.

The couple, having promised not to return home until they are reunited with Madeleine, are now planning a series of visits to European and North African cities, to distribute posters and widen the appeal for information.

Sir Elton has played an emotional DVD of Madeline at his concerts, but now believes a larger effort would do more to raise awareness of her predicament.

Gerry McCann, 38, said: "One of the ideas is maybe getting all the people who have publicly supported us to come together. I don't just mean from the UK but from different parts of the world. We want a big event to raise awareness that she is still missing.

"We would look at high-profile people who have already pledged support. It will be some sort of focus around an anniversary, to tell people that Madeleine's still missing. I think it would be later this year, once media attention has dropped, to bring it back up, hopefully, for a short period.

"It wouldn't be a one-year anniversary, it will be sooner than that. What we're doing at the minute has its role but doing that down the line in a few months won't have anything like the same impact. We might have a sporting event, something arts, something music.

"We've had backing from sporting people up to now. We have had backing from certain musical celebrities as well. We've got some other musical contacts that we are exploring, who are happy to offer support.

"We're not saying it would necessarily be one big concert, it might be that on a certain day they are playing her DVD.

"What we want at the current time is maximum message out there now, about her disappearance but then just events to bring it back up occasionally just to remind people, if she's not found."

A month after the sleeping Madeleine was snatched from her bed, Gerry and Kate McCann have betrayed the first signs that their hopes of finding her alive are starting to fade.

The couple confessed that they are haunted by the harrowing thought of her being held captive by a pervert. Still desperately clinging to Madeleine's pink Cuddle Cat, 38-year-old Kate said: "We don't know where she is. We'd like to think she's still in Portugal, she might still be in Portugal.

"But we know there's a possibility she's gone over the border – or several borders. We know there are bad people out there, but we know there are also a lot of sad people. We hope it's the latter."

Gerry added: "Of course we believe Madeleine is still alive but you would be incredible if you hadn't considered the worst scenario, that she's dead.

"Kate and I discuss it – not a lot, but we talk about hope, and that while there's some we will not give up. At the minute, there's loads of hope."

Madeleine McCann: Celeb party in cash bid, 18 January 2010
Madeleine McCann: Celeb party in cash bid Daily Star

Daily Star, 18 January 2010

By Jerry Lawton
18th January 2010

THE parents of Madeleine McCann are holding a star-studded party to boost their fund to find her.

Kate and Gerry, both 41, are charging £150-a-ticket to attend the dinner and auction as the 1,000-day anniversary of their daughter's disappearance draws near.

Invited guests include Virgin tycoon Sir Richard Branson, 59, Harry Potter author JK Rowling, 44, and Radio Five's Nicky Campbell, 48, along with the McCanns' backer, Scottish double-glazing tycoon Brian Kennedy, 49.

The bash at The Roof Gardens in Kensington, west London, on January 27 will swell the dwindling coffers of the fund. Nearly £2million has been donated since Maddie, then three, vanished on May 3, 2007. The McCanns insist Maddie was abducted from their Portuguese holiday apartment.

But Kate and Gerry fear donations may dry up after they attended a Portuguese court last week to ban a book about the case.

Ex-detective Goncalo Amaral, 50, claims Maddie died in an accident and the McCanns covered it up. The case was adjourned until next month.

But Kate and Gerry fear the fallout from the wild allegations could stop people donating. The fund, now at less than £400,000, would be empty by spring without a fresh injection of cash.

Kate said: "The fund is not depleted but we are aware, given the uncertainty of our situation, that we need to plan ahead to continue the search." The party is expected to raise £100,000.

Celebrities backing event to mark 1,000th day since Madeleine disappeared, 22 January 2010
Celebrities backing event to mark 1,000th day since Madeleine disappeared Leicester Mercury

Friday, January 22, 2010, 09:30

Kate and Gerry McCann will mark the 1,000th day since their daughter Madeleine disappeared with a star-studded fund-raising dinner and auction.

Around 180 famous names and wealthy supporters of the Find Madeleine fund are expected to attend the private bash at the stylish Kensington Roof Gardens, in London, on Wednesday, January 27.

Money raised from the event through tickets sales and an auction of items donated by the fund's backers will be split between the Find Madeleine fund and two other charities.

Guests are thought to have been asked to pay £150 per head for a meal and entertainment.

Family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said Kate and Gerry, both 41, of Rothley, felt it was right to mark the occasion.

He added that the party would provide a financial boost to the fund, which currently stands at around £500,000. The event would make at least £27,000.

Among the guests reported to be attending are Harry Potter creator JK Rowling, BBC Radio 5 Live presenter Nicky Campbell, Scottish double-glazing tycoon Brian Kennedy and billionaire and venue owner Sir Richard Branson.

Mr Mitchell said: "The public have been very kind over the last three years and continue to make donations, but the fund directors look to the future and, while there is no crisis, it is prudent to consider ways of keeping a funding stream running so the search can continue – not that the search will stop if the money runs dry."

Mr Mitchell previously told the Leicester Mercury that the fund would run out by March or April of this year if further donations were not forthcoming.

At its height the fund stood at more than £2m after it was inundated with financial support by well-wishers in the 10 months after Madeleine vanished from the Portuguese holiday resort of Praia de Luz in May 2007.

Half of the money raised from next week's event will go to the Find Madeleine fund; the other half will be split between the charities Missing People and Missing Children Europe.

Mr Mitchell said: "Kate and Gerry both feel that they do very good work for missing children and adults and it is only right that they benefit."

The McCanns, from Rothley, are currently embroiled in legal action against former detective Goncalo Amaral in an attempt to ban his book Maddie: The Truth Of The Lie, which claims their daughter is dead.

Mr Amaral was the first head of the Portuguese police investigation into Madeleine's disappearance.

However, he was later taken off the case.

-------------------

The Roof Gardens Virgin Limited Edition

Rooftop Gardens

Roof Gardens, Kensington

Events

Events at The Roof Gardens are nothing less than spectacular, from dinners to discos, barmitzvahs to weddings, business meetings to training days to BBQs on balmy summer nights! Our friendly Event Planners can create any vision for as few as 50 guests up to 500. And of course you'll all be treated to the extra special attention that our staff are famous for.

1,000 days of hunt for Maddie, 24 January 2010
1,000 days of hunt for Maddie Daily Star Sunday

Daily Star Sunday, 24 January 2010

By Jonathan Corke
24th January 2010

MISSING Madeleine McCann could be still alive and just a few miles from the Portuguese resort where she vanished in 2007, investigators believe.

Former detective inspector Dave Edgar, who is leading the hunt, made a secret visit to Praia da Luz at the beginning of last week.

On his return, he said it was a "very distinct possibility" that Maddie could be living in a poor country district inland from the holiday area.

A source told the Daily Star Sunday: "The areas that Dave's team have focused on are very rural. There are no tourists around there at all. He believes Madeleine could be held in such an area."

Wednesday will mark 1,000 days since the youngster's disappearance during a holiday with her doctor parents, Kate and Gerry McCann.

Mr Edgar is convinced she was kidnapped and his team are still receiving a "substantial number" of calls and e-mails containing new information.

While previous inquiries have led officers as far afield as Argentina and Australia, the focus is now firmly back in Portugal. The source went on: "They believe the answer lies in Praia da Luz. New information continues to come in."

Links between the case and at least five sex attacks on British children near Praia da Luz have been ruled out.

Many known paedophiles in the area have also been discounted.

But investigators would still like to speak to convicted Brit sex offender Raymond Hewlett, 64, who was staying near Praia da Luz at the time of the disappearance.

And we can reveal that some British holidaymakers who were also staying at the Mark Warner Ocean Club have not co-operated with the investigation.

Our source said: "There are a small number of individuals who, for their own reasons, have refused to speak."

Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for Kate and Gerry, said the probe would continue until Madeleine is found. The family hope that a star-studded fund-raising dinner on Wednesday will help boost diminishing funds.

Sir Richard Branson, JK Rowling and presenter Nicky Campbell are backing the event, at London's Kensington Roof Gardens. And 1,000 lanterns will be released into the sky from 20 venues across Britain and Portugal.

Mr Mitchell said: "It's a painful date for Kate and Gerry. But they remain as determined as ever."

-----------------------

1,000 laterns to mark missing Maddie's 1,000 days News of the World

News of the World, 24 January 2010

McCanns to mark somber anniversary, 24 January 2010
McCanns to mark somber anniversary msnbc.com

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

24 January 2010

Jan. 24: It's been nearly 1,000 days since 3-year-old Madeleine McCann disappeared during a family vacation, and despite scores of leads, global headlines and possible sightings, the young girl remains missing. NBC's Tom Aspell reports, then TODAY's Jenna Wolfe sits down with Clarence Mitchell, a spokesperson for the family.


-----------------------

Transcript

By Nigel Moore

Jenna Wolfe: And joining us now is Clarence Mitchell, spokesperson for Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann. Clarence, good morning, thanks for being with us today.

Clarence Mitchell: Good morning, Jenna, good to be with you.

JW: So, as we mentioned, this does mark... this week will mark the 1,000 date anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance. Can you tell us how her parents are holding up?

CM: Kate and Gerry have good and bad days, as you would well expect given that their daughter is still not home, as you say, nearly a thousand days on. They draw greatest strength from when they sense there is momentum in the search, and in the wider campaign to keep awareness of Madeleine high in the public eye, and so, on Wednesday, to mark a thousand days exactly they're going to be holding a fund raising event in London and they'll be surrounded by their long term friends and supporters, so they will draw great strength from that. But it is very difficult and they do find any, errr... anniversary or occasion like this to be very difficult.

JW: We understand that Gerry and Kate have also hired their own, errr... private investigator. Can you tell us a little bit about how that investigation is going? Has it led to any leads?

CM: There are lots of leads, whether they're the significant one that will lead to Madeleine is the question, and no... have we found her yet? No we haven't. Errr... It's a very small team currently looking into Madeleine's disappearance, led by some former British detectives now acting as private investigators. They're doing a very thorough job of going back over all the evidence, all the Portuguese police files that were finally released after a lot of pressure from... from this end and, errr... they feel that there is useful information still out there to be had; we still need people to come forward. If people go to the findmadeleine.com website all of the contact emails and phone numbers for anyone who thinks they may have seen her, or has any information about her, should... should look at that website. That information will go straight to our investigators and they are following it up on a daily basis. They go back to Portugal, from time to time; they were back there recently. The work is very much ongoing, although Madeleine isn't quite in the headlines as much as she was, the search is very much continuing and there are hundreds of calls that are still being checked out.

JW: Well, I understand that Gerry and... and Kate are attempting to block the sale... one of the new pieces of information out... are intending to block the sale of a book released by a Portuguese policeman who says that Madeleine, errr... is dead and that the parents, errr.... her parents are suspects. Can you tell us where we are in that civil case, right now? As if they need something else to continue to worry about.

CM: Well, absolutely, that's the last thing they need. This is a book written by a former police officer who was removed from the case after he criticised British police, errr... in the inquiry, errr... some two years ago. Errr... He's written a book in which he makes those allegations, as you say, he claims that he believes Madeleine is dead and that Kate and Gerry know what happened. It is totally untrue. Nor has he any evidence to make those wild, libellous allegations and that's why Kate and Gerry have gained an injunction to stop his book from being published anymore. He currently is appealing against that and we're expecting a ruling from a judge in February... mid February. Kate and Gerry obviously remain very hopeful that the judge will do the right thing and ban the book completely. We don't like to take that sort of legal action but the allegations this man is making will make people believe that Madeleine is dead and therefore they won't look for her and that will damage the search.

JW: Alright, Clarence Mitchell, we thank you so much for your time. Our thoughts continue to be with the McCanns in their search. Thank you.

Missing Madeleine: Missing 1000 days, 25 January 2010
Missing Madeleine. Missing 1000 days Bishop Eaton

25 January 2010

Wednesday, 27 January 2010, 7:30pm
  • 1000 lanterns will be released over the UK. Please join our lantern launch.
  • Still praying.
  • Still searching.
  • Please see the posters in the porch.
Location : Formby Football Club



What's the environmental impact of a sky lantern? Guardian

Ask Leo And Lucy

They may be beautiful as they drift off into the night, but the party could soon be over for sky lanterns

Leo Hickman
Friday 31 July 2009 16.16 BST

People release sky lanterns to celebrate the Chinese Sky Lantern festival. Photograph: NICKY LOH/REUTERS
People release sky lanterns to celebrate the Chinese Sky Lantern festival.

I am getting married next year and when going to buy so-called 100% biodegradable "sky lanterns" I have been disgusted to find that they contain metal wires which obviously take years to degrade. Beautiful and fairly cheap they may be, but I for one will not allow even the possibility of harming animals to come from my wedding, and I strongly believe that others will feel the same – if they have the knowledge.

Saffron Light, by email

Less of a question, more of a statement, but I take your point, Saffron. I, too, have wondered about what happens to these sky lanterns once their brief blaze of glory begins to fade and they fall back to the ground. They are, indeed, a fairly splendid sight as they drift away into the night sky. But, as with the release of helium-filled balloons at a charity event, they must fall back to earth somewhere resulting in – at the very least – an eyesore for someone to clean up.

The claim made by some of the sky lantern retailers about their products being "biodegradable" is certainly worth exploring. If these paper lanterns did, indeed, rot away within a matter of days, then they might possibly claim to be environmentally benign. But, as you point out, they contain a thin metal wire support.

I rang one of the UK's leading online sky lantern retailers and asked its sales representative to put some flesh on this "biodegradable" claim. He said that the paper biodegrades within "six to eight weeks", and claimed that the "flourished wire" take nine months, on average, to break down.

How did he know this? "The manufacturers did some tests. But the wire is only eight inches long and accounts for just 1% of the lantern's mass."

Who are the manufacturers? "I don't know. They used to be in Thailand, but I think we get them from Japan now."

This answer intrigued me, because on the company's website it says that all its products are "sourced ethically" and that it "operates a fair trade agreement with our manufacturers". This led me to assume that it must have a very close relationship with its suppliers, so why the confusion about where the sky lanterns are sourced? I asked what this "fair trade" claim meant.

"Some of our competitors pay under the minimum wage in these countries. We ensure that we pay a fair wage." But such statements are next to meaningless without any form of proof or certification.

I came away from the conversation with far more concerns and questions than I entered it. For example, why should the claim that the wire takes nine months to break down be presented as a means of reassurance? Wire lying on the ground for nine months is surely a considerable hazard, depending on where it lands, for farm animals or children. And can metal wire really break down so quickly? I'm always digging up old bits of wire fencing in my garden (formerly a field) which must have been there for years, if not decades.

Back in April, a farmer who runs a wedding venue in the Staffordshire Moorlands banned the use of sky lanterns on his land due to similar concerns (thanks to the
Guardian user Yamaman for a link that led me to the story). Mick Heath of Heaton House farm told the North Staffordshire and South Cheshire Sentinel: "Brides and grooms ask if they can let them off, but they do not understand that the wire in them takes ages to break down. He added:

 

 

If it gets wrapped up in hay bales it would be like swallowing razor blades for farm animals and if it falls into grassland it will kill wildlife. These lanterns are advertised very heavily in bridal magazines. Brides and grooms can see the attraction, but not the danger … One of our cows bled to death internally after eating shards of a discarded drink can. I want to do all I can to avoid any animal suffering like that again.

 

 

Margaret Heath, Mr Heath's wife, expressed an additional concern: "There is also the danger that if they come down alight they could start a fire on the moorlands, a fire in a tinder-dry cornfield or even someone's house. We really do not know where they are going to come down."

Sky lanterns have long been a tradition in east Asia. You only have to look at
this footage of a sky lantern festival in Chiang Mai in Thailand to see how popular they are – and how potentially dangerous they can be when lit en mass.

But the party could be coming to an end. Last week, the Vietnamese prime minister, Nguyen Tan Dung, announced that a sky lantern ban would take effect from mid-September, says
a report by VOV News:

 

 

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, almost 20 forest fires have been caused by burning sky lanterns since the beginning of the year. In Hanoi alone, there have been eight fires in workshops, electrical stations and houses caused by sky lanterns. Sky lanterns that fell on power stations in the capital were also blamed for causing power blackouts, during Lunar New Year's Eve earlier this year.

 

 

In Thailand, too, some local authorities are now starting to ban the sale of sky lanterns ahead of major festivals.

And closer to home,
three German states have now banned the sale of the lanterns following the death of a 10-year-old boy in a house fire caused by a sky lantern in North Rhine-Westphalia. Even the UK coastguard is now starting to express concern about the site of these lanterns drifting out to see and mimicking the sight of distress flares.

I doubt it will be too long before a ban is considered here in the UK.

Lanterns mark Madeleine milestone, 26 January 2010
Lanterns mark Madeleine milestone The Press Association

(UKPA) – 26 January 2010, 03:00am

Kate and Gerry McCann will mark the 1,000th day since their daughter Madeleine went missing with a fund-raising event attended by celebrity backers.

Supporters of the couple will also launch 1,000 glowing paper lanterns into the night sky in Britain, Portugal and the US to coincide with the sad anniversary.

About 180 guests are expected to attend the McCanns' £150-a-head dinner, raffle and auction at Kensington Roof Gardens in west London.

It is understood that those invited include Sir Richard Branson, who owns the exclusive venue, Harry Potter author JK Rowling and the couple's millionaire backer Brian Kennedy.

Half the money raised will go to the McCanns' fund to find Madeleine, and the other half will be split between the charities Missing People and Missing Children Europe.

Nearly £2 million was raised for Madeleine's Fund in the first 10 months after the little girl went missing from Praia da Luz in Portugal in May 2007. But the initial surge of donations dried up and the McCanns, both 41, from Rothley, Leicestershire, spent hundreds of thousands of pounds hiring a series of private detectives to continue the search for their daughter.

McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell stressed that there was no "crisis" in the fund, which currently stands at about £500,000. He said: "The directors of the fund felt it was prudent to maintain the fund. But even if the fund were to run dry, it doesn't mean the search stops."

Mr Mitchell said Wednesday evening's fund-raiser would be attended primarily by the couple's friends and long-term supporters.

The paper lanterns will be launched at 7.30pm British time from about 20 different locations, including Praia da Luz, Rothley and Mrs McCann's hometown of Liverpool.

Madeleine was nearly four when she went missing from her family's holiday apartment on May 3 2007 while her parents dined with friends nearby. Despite a massive police operation and huge publicity worldwide, she has not been found.

Lighting up the sky with lanterns at Formby Football Club for Madeleine McCann - 1,000 days after she went missing, 26 January 2010
Lighting up the sky with lanterns at Formby Football Club for Madeleine McCann - 1,000 days after she went missing Formby Times

Madeleine McCann remembered at Formby FC

Paddy Shennan, Liverpool Echo
Jan 26 2010

TOMORROW will be another landmark day in the search for Madeleine McCann – another chance to raise awareness and keep the missing girl in people's thoughts.

It will be 1,000 days since the then three-year-old – she will now be six – disappeared while on holiday in Portugal with her parents, Kate and Gerry, and her brother and sister, twins Sean and Amelie.

Millions of words have been written and so much seems to have happened since May 3, 2007 – but, in essence, nothing has happened and nothing has changed.

Madeleine McCann went missing on that date – and she's still missing.

To mark that cold, cruel fact, 1,000 lanterns will be released at locations across the UK by friends, family and supporters of the McCanns at 7.30pm tomorrow.

Among the locations will be Rothley in Leicestershire, where Kate and Gerry live, and, here in Merseyside, Formby Football Club on Altcar Road, Formby, where 250 lanterns will light up the Merseyside sky.

A club official says the gates will be open by 7pm and parking will be available at and around the ground.

Kate’s mum and dad, Susan and Brian Healy, live in Allerton, and Susan reveals: "We were going to use Mossley Hill Athletics Club, but are not able to because lanterns can be a problem if they are released close to the airport.

"The nearest alternatives were Formby and St Helens and Kate has also got friends in Formby so we decided to do it there."

While Kate and Gerry will be hosting a dinner in London tomorrow evening to raise funds for the ongoing search for their daughter, Susan and Brian will be in Formby – although those Merseysiders unable to get there are being invited to show their support and solidarity in their own homes.

"The message is for people not to give up on Madeleine," says Susan.

"It's sad that it's a school day and that many children from this area won't be able to get to Formby, but people can mark the 1,000 days in other ways.

"They don't need lanterns – they can simply think about Madeleine and have a quiet time of reflection in their own homes.

"Kate will be at her fundraising night in London – God love her, she's worked so hard on that – but there will also be a lantern release in Rothley."

While many people around the world will still have a fixed image of Madeleine in their minds – taken before she went missing – we are reminded of the onward march of time by the fact that Kate and Gerry’s twins, Sean and Amelie, will be five on February 1, while Madeleine herself will be seven on May 12.

As we have said before in the ECHO, the future tense is important because, despite the time that has passed, there is no proof the past tense is needed.

Madeleine's name continues to be mentioned each and every week during the "children's service" which takes place at 10am on Sundays at Our Lady of the Annunciation, Bishop Eton, in Woolton Road, Childwall.

Meanwhile, on their website, findmadeleine.com, under the heading "Why do we continue?", Kate and Gerry stress:

"There is absolutely nothing to suggest that Madeleine has been harmed.

"Madeleine is still missing and someone needs to be looking for her.

"She is very young and vulnerable and needs our help.

"We love her dearly and miss her beyond words."

Susan says: "I think there has been publicity that will lead you to think that Madeleine is dead, but we just don't know what's happened to Madeleine.

"Kate is so anxious people don't think Madeleine is dead, because if they do then people will stop looking for her.

"The fact is absolutely nothing has changed from day one. People have their ideas but until there's something to substantiate what has been said it's ridiculous. It does work against the search and we can't allow that."

It's impossible to fully comprehend what Madeleine's family have been through and what they continue to go through on a daily basis – and Susan says: "I can't explain what it's like . . . it's dreadful."

Last year, in the lead-up to the second anniversary of her disappearance, new T-shirts were printed which included the words "Don't give up on me" beneath a photograph of Madeleine, while her parents' poignant message hammered home what every parent would surely feel if they were in the same situation.

"It is vital that we never, ever give up on Madeleine," they said.

"Can you imagine a little girl or boy out there, hoping and waiting to be found but for people then to 'write them off', forget about them, just because there's been no 'news'? For that child never to be reunited with their family because everyone had given up on them? Just imagine.

"And so, we will never, ever give up. We urge you to remember Madeleine as a real, living and findable little girl."

That message remains the same today – and will remain the same tomorrow, 1,000 days after Madeleine went missing in the holiday resort of Praia da Luz in the Algarve.

And at 7.30pm tomorrow, whether we are in Formby or any other part of Merseyside, we have the chance to stop what we’re doing for a short time and simply reflect on a missing little girl – and hope that she can soon be reunited with her family.

The McCanns and the Healys have always been extremely grateful for the support they have received from the people of Merseyside, and they will be grateful for that support to continue to be shown tomorrow – and on every day until Madeleine is found and brought back home.

1,000 days after disappearance, Madeleine McCann inspires Armitage poem, 27 January 2010
1,000 days after disappearance, Madeleine McCann inspires Armitage poem Timesonline

Valentine Low
January 27, 2010 (appeared online January 26, 2010, 22:00PM)


One thousand days after she disappeared, Madeleine McCann has inspired a poem by Simon Armitage, the writer widely regarded as the runner-up for last year's poet laureateship.

The Beacon
is published in times2 today. A handwritten copy will be auctioned tonight to raise funds for the McCanns' campaign.

It is not the first time that Armitage has composed verses about events that impinge strongly on the public consciousness. He wrote a poem for the fifth anniversary of 9/11, while his other works include a commission for the 60th anniversary of VE-Day and Killing Time, a poem celebrating the millennium.

Armitage accepted the commission, which came via Emma Loach, a director who worked with Gerry and Kate McCann on a television documentary and is a friend of Armitage, after he met the couple at their home in Rothley, Leicestershire. "We talked about the night Madeleine went missing, those terrible hours of darkness before they could resume the search," he said.

Madeleine, then aged 3, disappeared from the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007. Despite extensive publicity and a number of unconfirmed claimed sightings, the Portuguese police have come no closer to finding out what happened to her.

"On my part, like a lot of people, it's something that, right from the beginning, I felt moved by," said Armitage said. The poem draws on the imagery of the photograph of Madeleine in the missing poster and the candle that her parents keep burning in a lantern in their village square.

With the line "Somewhere out there there has to be life", the poem reflects the McCanns' hope that , in the absence of any solid evidence to the contrary, their daughter may still be alive.

"They have hope and that's what keeps them going," said Armitage said. "For as long as that's the case they have a parent's duty and it's their fierce desire to keep looking for her."

As part of events to mark the 1,000 days since the disappearance, supporters of the McCanns in Britain, Portugal and the US will today launch 1,000 glowing paper lanterns into the night sky.

The couple will also attend a £150-a-head dinner fundraising event at Kensington Roof Gardens, in west London. It is understood that those invited include Sir Richard Branson, who owns the venue, J.K. Rowling and the couple's millionaire backer Brian Kennedy. The McCanns have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on private detectives to continue the search for their daughter.

Half the money raised will go to the McCanns' fund to finance the search for Madeleine and the rest will be split between the charities Missing People and Missing Children Europe.

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Simon Armitage's Madeleine McCann poem Timesonline

Simon Armitage's poem about Madeleine McCann, published in times2 and to be auctioned for the Find Madeleine campaign

January 27, 2010

Madeleine image with candles, (Lee Thompson)

The Beacon

Dusk, doubt, the growing depth of an evening sky,
dark setting in as it did that night,
the forever vastness of outer space
reflecting the emptiness here inside,
shadowing, colouring, clouding the mind.

But somewhere out there there has to be life,
the distance only a matter of time,
a world like our own, its markings and shades
as uniquely formed as a daughter's eye,
distinctly flecked, undeniably hers,
looking back this way through the miles and years

to a lantern cupping a golden blaze,
its candle alive with a fierce blonde flame
for the thousandth time, for as long as it takes.

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A poem for Madeleine Timesonline

Simon Armitage has combined personal and universal themes in the work he created at the request of Kate and Gerry McCann

Penny Wark
January 27, 2010


At first Simon Armitage wasn't sure what to make of the request. Would he consider writing a poem to mark the thousand days since the disappearance of Madeleine McCann?

He felt awkward, he explains. "I said I didn't think I could do it. You know, the difficulty of writing something that would need to be quite intimate and not wanting to poke around in their grief and intrude. Then we talked about it a little more."

The request came from the director Emma Loach, who worked with Gerry and Kate McCann on a television documentary last year and is also a friend of Armitage. Would he at least meet Kate McCann, she suggested? He agreed. "I thought that was probably the only way of doing it. I wanted to make sure that they were on board."

And so the Yorkshire-based poet, a strong contender for the poet laureate appointment last year, met Kate McCann at the family's home in Rothley, Leicestershire. As they talked, Armitage came to understand the McCanns' motivation, and how he might be able to help.

"They want to keep Madeleine alive in lots of different ways," he says. "They want to keep the search for her alive. I think also they want to do things for her as any parent would. On my part, like a lot of people, it's something that right from the beginning I felt moved by.

"To function as a poet you've got to have a certain amount of detachment. But to make the poem work for the McCanns, and for it to be meaningful as a piece of writing, you need to know what they think and to have a bit more of a feeling for it. One of the things I talked to Kate about was how difficult it must be to keep out that fear and that doubt and darkness. We talked about the night Madeleine went missing, those terrible hours of darkness before it became light again and they could resume the search. It was like meeting in the middle."

He asked for some details to inform his poem and in response Gerry and Kate wrote him a couple of pages about Madeleine, their thoughts and feelings. Through that, Armitage learnt of the candle they keep burning in a lantern in their village square.

"That's how it works with a poem sometimes, just one little thing. I'd been looking at the photograph that was used of Madeleine in the campaign, where you can see the fleck in her eye. I found myself thinking about Jupiter. If you look at Jupiter there's something bottom left that they call the great red spot. It's an anticyclone thousands of miles across that looks like a little eye to us, like a fleck in the planet's face. Then I started thinking, is there life out there?

"That became the conceit for the poem, looking out for signs of life and the idea of keeping a light burning here for life looking back this way. The McCanns are optimistic, I think you can call that optimism hope. They have hope and that's what keeps them going. One thing Kate will say is that they don't have any concrete evidence to say that she's dead. For as long as that's the case, they have a parent's duty and it's their fierce desire to keep looking for her. And they have faith, they are strong Roman Catholics. That sense of lighting a candle, saying a prayer, keeping hope burning — I was trying to tap into that as well."

The result, a sonnet, was also informed by his own experience of being the father of a ten-year-old daughter, Armitage acknowledges. "Parents can identify with the McCanns losing something that is your whole world, around which things orbit. For most of us it's an unimaginable loss. That's one of the reasons that their story is so powerful."

The McCanns have described the poem as "beautiful" and have told Armitage that it captures many of their feelings and the issues around the loss of their daughter.

Armitage responds by saying that this is what he does. His ability to write with intimacy and yet without intruding is partly because he is no stranger to writing about topical and sensitive events. His poem Out of the Blue was a response to the fifth anniversary of 9/11.

He has given the McCanns a handwritten copy of this poem that will be auctioned tonight at an event to raise funds for their campaign. He will also sign over the copyright to them. "They can do whatever they want with it," he says. "This is my way of trying to do something."

Updates, 27 January 2010
Updates: findmadeleine.com

 
Update, 27 January 2010

Wednesday 27th January 2010

Today marks 1000 days since Madeleine was taken from us. It's hard to even say the number. We remember the first few days after Madeleine was taken, watching the clock and counting every hour. Now we've reached 1000 days.

It's difficult sometimes to understand how we've been able to keep going and survive without Madeleine, especially since nothing has changed since that terrifying first night. Madeleine is still missing. Sometimes it even feels 'wrong' to be coping. And yet if we weren't, there would be no search and no campaign to find Madeleine and that just doesn't bear thinking about! We are very aware though that our ability to cope and keep going for Madeleine has been greatly augmented by the incredible support we have received from so many people and this should never be underestimated. We will always remember and be forever grateful for this help, support and kindness.

This evening we will be holding a fund-raising event in London - 'Still Missing,Still Missed; An Evening for Madeleine'. We will be remembering Madeleine and other missing children throughout the world. We are hoping to raise a good amount of money to further the search for Madeleine but also to benefit the charities, Missing People and Missing Children Europe and the fantastic but often unrecognised work that they do on behalf of all missing children in the UK and Europe.

Also this evening, 1000 lanterns will be released into the night sky - an event which has been called 'Look Up & Look Out for Madeleine'.They will be released from many different locations in the UK, Portugal and the USA.  It is a symbolic way for our family, friends and supporters to show that we have not forgotten Madeleine and will never give up on her.

In addition to the above, Simon Armitage has very kindly(and courageously) written a poem for Madeleine to coincide with the 1000th day since her disappearance. It is called 'The Beacon'. We think it is an incredible and really beautiful sonnet. It manages to convey so accurately and succinctly, both our darker moments and the reality of hope and possibility, aswell as including powerful and touching references to Madeleine. We hope it will be read by many.

One thousand days.

Madeleine is still missing and she needs to be found.

We will continue to turn every stone. We will never give upon Madeleine.

Thank you for your support and solidarity. Together we can bring Madeleine home.

The Beacon - findmadeleine.com website, 27 January 2010 

The Beacon - findmadeleine.com website, 27 January 2010

Maddie... 100 days since she vanished, 27 January 2010
Maddie... 100 days since she vanished Daily Star

Daily Star, 27 January 2010

By Jerry Lawton
27th January 2010


MADELEINE McCann's family will light up the sky tonight with 1,000 lanterns, one for every day she has been missing.

The bright lights, a symbol of hope and remembrance, are to be released in Britain, Portugal and America.

They will be let off as her parents Kate and Gerry, both 41, host a £150-a-head gala dinner to help them continue the search, and boost missing persons charities.

Supporters from the Helping To Find Madeleine website are co-ordinating the launch in the McCanns' village of Rothley, Leics, and across Bucks, Herts, Suffolk, Warks, and Merseyside. More will be released in Chicago and in Praia da Luz, Algarve, where Madeleine disappeared in May 2007, days before her fourth birthday.

The dinner at The Roof Gardens in Kensington, west London, will feature an auction, with lots including flights donated by Virgin and signed Harry Potter books.

Family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "It is another initiative to boost the Find Madeleine Fund, and another difficult milestone."

Madeleine's favourite football team Everton will mark the occasion in the programme for tonight's match against Sunderland.

----------------

Note: Headline later amended to read '1000 days'

Daily Star, paper edition, 27 January 2010

Daily Star, 27 January 2010

New Maddie slur for parents, 27 January 2010
New Maddie slur for parents The Sun

Faked Abduction: The Sun, 27 January 2010

By ANTONELLA LAZZERI and NEIL SYSON
Published: Today (27 January 2010)


MADELEINE
McCann's parents face more heartbreak as a second vile book claims they lied about her disappearance.

The slur comes as they today mark the 1,000th day since she vanished.

Faked Abduction, by Briton Steve Marsden, repeats claims in a book by ex-Portuguese police chief Goncalo Amaral.

Marsden, writing under the pseudonym Brian Johnson, alleges three-year-old Maddie was not snatched from her family's holiday flat in Portugal.

He says sniffer dogs detected the scent of a dead body in a car rented by parents Gerry and Kate, and cops concluded she died in the apartment and the body was hidden.

The McCanns won a court order banning the book by Amaral, 50, who was sacked from the Maddie inquiry.

Marsden, a regular contributor to anti-McCann websites, says libel laws can't touch him as he lives in America. But McCanns spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "Everything Mr Marsden alleges is entirely untrue, as is everything Mr Amaral claims.

"Lawyers will take action if anything defamatory is said."

A thousand lanterns will be released across Britain today to mark the 1,000 days as Kate and Gerry, both 41, of Rothley, Leics, bid to keep the Maddie hunt active.

The Find Madeleine Fund has dwindled below £500,000 and could run out by March.

Kate: Our 1,000 days without Maddie, 27 January 2010
Kate: Our 1,000 days without Maddie The Sun

Mum's hell ... Kate McCann

By ANTONELLA LAZZERI and NEIL SYSON
Published: Today (27 January 2010)

MADELEINE McCann's parents will today mark a THOUSAND days since she vanished - with a vow NEVER to give up searching for her.

Doctors Kate and Gerry are to host a fundraising dinner as a thousand lanterns are poignantly released into the sky around the world.

Anguished Kate, 41, will tell guests in London how she struggles to even say the landmark number. Opening her heart, the mum, of Rothley, Leics, admits in her speech: "It's difficult sometimes to understand how we've been able to keep going and survive without Madeleine."

The event bears the poignant title: "Still Missing, Still Missed: An Evening for Madeleine". She was three when she vanished on a 2007 holiday in Praia da Luz, Portugal.

Vowing to "turn every stone" her mum will declare: "We will never give up on Madeleine." Poet Simon Armitage will unveil a specially-written sonnet entitled The Beacon. The grim anniversary comes as a SECOND vile book - Faked Abduction - accuses the McCanns of lying about Maddie's disappearance.

Brit Steve Marsden repeats claims in a book by ex-Portuguese cop Goncalo Amaral. Family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "Everything Mr Marsden alleges is entirely untrue."

Mark Williams-Thomas on GMTV, 27 January 2010

Mass in Praia da Luz on Wednesday marks one thousand days of Madeleine's disappearance, 27 January 2010
Mass in Praia da Luz on Wednesday marks one thousand days of Madeleine's disappearance Barlavento Online

Praia da Luz in Lagos
Praia da Luz in Lagos

Lusa Agency
27 January 2010 | 13:01


A Mass in the Anglican church in Praia da Luz, Algarve, on Wednesday marks one thousand days in the disappearance of British girl Madeleine McCann, in conjunction with a fundraising event in London.

The ceremony in the Anglican church in Praia da Luz, scheduled for 19:00, reunites the friends of the parents of the child who disappeared on the 3rd of May 2007 from the bedroom of a rented apartment in Praia da Luz

At the same time, in the English capital, Kate and Gerry McCann will be promoting a fundraising event for the Find Madeleine Fund and, as stated in a notice sent to the Lusa agency, "for the investigation into the disappearance of our daughter"

The British couple also remark that 50 percent of the income received will be passed to the charities Missing People and Missing Children Europe.

The child's parents explain that the British fundraising in the British capital is a "private event", reserved for "people who have significantly helped in the search for Madeleine."

"Since May 2007, we have successively received more support and that has encouraged us to move forward with new fundraising events. And we have advanced with some, for example in Madeleine's school, where there is great solidarity. And now we have this moment where we are hoping to raise some more financial support", they underlined.

Kate and Gerry note that "without financial support" they would not "have been able to support the investigation," admitting that they were surprised "by the help and compassion of people of different origins" at the time of Madeleine's disappearance.

The parents of Madeleine McCann believe their daughter is still alive, although the investigation of the Judicial Police has concluded that the couple were involved in the disappearance of the child, through a simulated kidnapping and concealment of a body.

Kate and Gerry were constituted arguidos in September 2007, only to be exonerated in July 2008, with the prosecution dismissing the case due to lack of evidence.

The process may be reopened if new data is received that is considered consistent to the disappearance of the child.

Missing: Respect, 27 January 2010
Missing: Respect Joana Morais blogspot

Child handprint in sand

By Astro
27 January 2010

According to several Portuguese newspapers, like for example Diário de Notícias, Madeleine McCann's parents have sent Lusa, the central Portuguese news agency, a press release with information about today's event in London, that will mark 1000 days after Madeleine disappeared in Praia da Luz.

Said press release states that the fundraiser seeks to collect money for "the investigation into the disappearance of our daughter".

It further informs that the event is a "private event" and that it is reserved for "people who have significantly helped in the search for Madeleine".

But what I would really like to know is when the McCanns will host an event to thank those who have actually done something to help search for Madeleine.

The good people of Praia da Luz and from the surrounding areas, who have sacrificed their time, their income, their effort - until the limit of their physical strength - to actively search for Madeleine on the days following the disappearance, have not been invited.

The Portuguese policemen, firemen, rescue teams, council staff, the volunteers from so many civil associations who have physically, methodically and thoroughly searched for Madeleine for days on end, have not been invited.

The Polícia Judiciária agents who have worked around the clock, under extreme conditions, without proper funding, without free weekends and without holidays, who have been 'paid' with insult, humiliation and despisement, have not been invited.

Those who have been invited to the McCanns' party, are those who have either donated hefty amounts to the Madeleine Fund, or are about to do so tonight. That seems to be what Maddie's parents see as "significantly" helping the search for their daughter.

It has become too common to point out the fact that an investigation into the disappearance of their daughter, carried out by a legitimate police force, either in Portugal or in the UK, would cost Kate and Gerry McCann absolutely no money.

It has become too easy to note that every time one of the couple's lawyers sits down and writes a letter on their behalf, the pair is probably billed as much as the cost of each one of the tickets to the fundraiser.

It has become too embarrassing to watch what the McCanns' private investigation, which they seem to choose to the detriment of an investigation by the police, has produced so far.

I am certain that tonight, in Praia da Luz, many people who have not been invited to any "star-studded", "private" party will, very privately, be thinking of Madeleine Beth McCann.

As they look up into the starry sky, they will know that they have given everything they had, and more, to help search for a little girl that has never been far from their thoughts. And they will go to bed, with a heavy heart - and peace of mind.

McCanns trying to 'move forward' on 1,000th day without Madeleine, 27 January 2010
McCanns trying to 'move forward' on 1,000th day without Madeleine Ireland On-Line

27/01/2010 - 20:09:39

Kate McCann tonight said she was "trying to move forward" as a charity event was held to mark the 1,000th day since her daughter Madeleine went missing.

Mrs McCann and her husband Gerry were joined by celebrity supporters at the £150 (€172.94)-a-head fundraising dinner, raffle and auction at Kensington Roof Gardens in west London.

Speaking on the steps of the venue she said: "We are hoping for a positive night."

Asked about her feelings on the sad anniversary, she added: "It's obviously difficult but we are trying to move forward to help Madeleine and all missing children."

Madeleine was nearly four when she disappeared from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in southern Portugal on May 3, 2007 while her parents dined with friends nearby.

Comedian Jack Dee, television presenters Fiona Phillips and Gloria Hunniford and actor Peter Bowles were among the guests.

Kate and Gerry McCann host star-studded fundraiser to mark the 1,000th day since their daughter Maddie went missing, 27 January 2010
Kate and Gerry McCann host star-studded fundraiser to mark the 1,000th day since their daughter Maddie went missing Daily Mail

By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
Last updated at 8:48 PM on 27th January 2010


Kate McCann tonight said she was "trying to move forward" as a charity event was held to mark the 1,000th day since her daughter Madeleine went missing.

Mrs McCann and her husband Gerry were joined by celebrity supporters at the £150-a-head fundraising dinner, raffle and auction at Kensington Roof Gardens in west London.

Speaking on the steps of the venue she said: 'We are hoping for a positive night.'

Madeleine McCann fundraiser held at the Kensington Roof Gardens

Fundraiser: (l-r) Gerry McCann, Martin Houghton-Brown, Chief Executive Missing People, Kate McCann and Francis Herbert, Secretary General, Missing Children Europe at a Madeleine McCann fundraiser held at the Kensington Roof Gardens

------------------

Gloria Hunniford

Fiona Phillips

Charitable celebrities: Gloria Hunniford and Fiona Phillips were among the famous guests lending their support to the McCann's fundraising event

-----------------
 

Asked about her feelings on the sad anniversary, she added: 'It's obviously difficult but we are trying to move forward to help Madeleine and all missing children.'

Madeleine was nearly four when she disappeared from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in southern Portugal on May 3 2007 while her parents dined with friends nearby.

Comedian Jack Dee, television presenters Fiona Phillips and Gloria Hunniford and actor Peter Bowles were among the guests.

Peter Bowles

Lord David Steele

Support: Peter Bowls and Lord David Steele at the Madeleine McCann fundraiser held exactly 1,000 days after Maddie went missing

------------------

The couple will mark the sad anniversary by organising the launch of 1,000 glowing paper lanterns into the night sky in Leicestershire.

The McCanns said it sometimes felt wrong that they were coping with life without Madeleine - but added that otherwise there would be no search for the little girl.

In a poignant statement they said: 'Today marks 1,000 days since Madeleine was taken from us. It's hard to even say the number.

'We remember the first few days after Madeleine was taken, watching the clock and counting every hour. Now we've reached 1,000 days.

'It's difficult sometimes to understand how we've been able to keep going and survive without Madeleine, especially since nothing has changed since that terrifying first night.

'Madeleine is still missing. Sometimes it even feels wrong to be coping.

'And yet if we weren't, there would be no search and no campaign to find Madeleine and that just doesn't bear thinking about.'

Maddie: 20 people attend mass in Praia da Luz, 27 January 2010
Maddie: 20 people attend mass in Praia da Luz TVI

27-01-2010 21: 18
Thanks to Astro for translation


Approximately 20 people attended a religious ceremony this Wednesday, at the Church of Praia da Luz, to mark the passage of 1000 days since the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, which happened in May 2007, in that Algarve village.

The initiative, which was organised by the FindMadeleine Fund, and celebrated by Anglican priest Haynes Hubbard, gathered mainly members of the English community that resides in Praia da Luz, near Lagos.

At the end of the prayer "to remember Maddie", which lasted for about half an hour, the participants set off some light lanterns into the sky, in a homage to the little missing girl.

"It's a symbolic gesture to mark the disappearance, with a request for Madeleine to return to her parents", Haynes Hubbard told the journalists.

"We want to help maintain the efforts to find Maddie", he observed.

In the United Kingdom, the FindMadeleine fund prepared similar initiatives, in order to mark 1000 days after Madeleine McCann's disappearance.

Madeleine McCann, then aged four, disappeared on the night of May 3, 2007, from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, while she was sleeping in her bedroom with two siblings and her parents dined in a nearby restaurant.

The parents, Kate and Kerry [sic] McCann, who always maintained the position that Maddie was abducted, were made arguidos in September 2007, but ended up being cleared in July 2008 due to a lack of evidence to sustain the hypothesis that had been put forward by the inquiry, of the little girl's accidental death.

The Public Ministry archived the process, that may be reopened at any time, if new data that is considered to be consistent, about the child's disappearance, appears.

McCanns try to 'move on' as 1000 days pass, 27 January 2010
Transcript

By Nigel Moore

Tom Lowe (voice over): The parents of Madeleine McCann say they're "trying to move forward", as another milestone passes since their daughter's disappearance.

It's now a thousand days since Madeleine vanished from her family's holiday apartment in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz.

Kate and Gerry McCann were joined by celebrity supporters including Gloria Hunniford and actor Peter Bowles at a charity fundraising event to mark the sad anniversary.

Kate McCann: Well, it's obviously difficult but we're trying to move forward and, you know, to help Madeleine and help all missing children, so...

Martin Houghton-Brown (Chief Executive, Missing People): It's a thousand days since Maddie, errr... went missing and it's a timely reminder of the thousands of parents around Europe, errr... and in the UK, errr... who tonight are alone and, errr... hoping for news of their missing child and, errr... it's an important night for all of us to remember those families who are left behind when a child goes missing.

Tom Lowe (voice over): Comedian Jack Dee and television presenter Fiona Phillips were also among the guests at the event in West London.

Kate McCann trying to 'move forward' on 1,000th day, 28 January 2010
Kate McCann trying to 'move forward' on 1,000th day Telegraph

Kate McCann said she was 'trying to move forward' as a charity event was held to mark the 1,000th day since her daughter Madeleine went missing.

Published: 7:30AM GMT 28 Jan 2010

Mrs McCann and her husband Gerry were joined by celebrity supporters at the £150-a-head fund-raising dinner, raffle and auction at Kensington Roof Gardens in west London.

Jack Dee, the comedian, Peter Bowles, the actor, and television presenters Fiona Phillips and Gloria Hunniford were among the guests.

Speaking on the steps of the venue Mrs McCann said: ''We are hoping for a positive night."

Asked about her feelings on the sad anniversary, she added: ''It's obviously difficult but we are trying to move forward to help Madeleine and all missing children."

Madeleine was nearly four when she disappeared from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in southern Portugal on May 3, 2007 while her parents dined with friends nearby.

Martin Houghton-Brown, chief executive of the Missing People charity, joined the McCanns at the event.

He said: "It's 1,000 days since Madeleine went missing, it's a timely reminder for thousands of parents around Europe and the UK who are tonight waiting for news of their missing child."

It is understood the event was being compèred by Phillips, with Dee helping to kick off an auction of various prizes.

Sir Richard Branson, who owns the exclusive venue, was believed to have donated a week's holiday plus Virgin Atlantic flights to his private retreat, Necker Island.

Author JK Rowling was also said to have given signed Harry Potter books to the fund-raising effort.

In a statement released ahead of the event the McCanns, both 41, said it sometimes felt "wrong" that they were coping with life without Madeleine.

"We remember the first few days after Madeleine was taken, watching the clock and counting every hour. Now we've reached 1,000 days," they said.

"It's difficult sometimes to understand how we've been able to keep going and survive without Madeleine, especially since nothing has changed since that terrifying first night.

"Madeleine is still missing. Sometimes it even feels wrong to be coping.

"And yet if we weren't, there would be no search and no campaign to find Madeleine and that just doesn't bear thinking about."

Mr and Mrs McCann are taking legal action against Goncalo Amaral, the former head of the Portuguese police investigation into Madeleine's disappearance.

Madeleine McCann gone 1000 days, 28 January 2010
Madeleine McCann gone 1000 days Liverpool Echo

Brian and Susan Healy release a lantern at Formby Football Club

By Laura Sharpe
Jan 28 2010


CHINESE lanterns were released in Formby to mark the 1000th day Madeleine McCann has been missing.

Plans to release scores of balloons were disrupted by bad weather but members of Formby Football Club, and Madeleine's grandparents released a floating lantern to mark the occasion.

In London, Kate and Gerry McCann were joined by celebrities at a charity bash.

Flames keep hope alive on 1,000th missing day, 28 January 2010
Flames keep hope alive on 1,000th missing day Leicester Mercury

Thursday, January 28, 2010, 09:30

An emotional ceremony marking 1,000 days since Madeleine McCann disappeared from a holiday apartment in Portugal took place in her home village of Rothley last night.

Family and friends gathered at the Rothley Court Hotel, in Westfield Lane, to say prayers and light candles for the missing youngster.

About 300 people squeezed into the hotel's chapel to listen to a short service led by Madeleine's great-uncle Brian Kennedy and the vicar of Rothley Rob Gladstone.

A poem called The Beacon, written specially for the occasion by contemporary British poet Simon Armitage, was also read out by Madeleine's great-aunt, Janet Kennedy.

She said: "Every word in the poem expressed exactly what I wanted to say – it's beautiful.

"The flames we lit here today are much like the candle we have on Cross Green, which has been burning since Madeleine disappeared, and symbolises the tremendous hope we feel for her safe return."

The candle stands at the Cross Green war memorial in the centre of Rothley.

The family had originally intended to release 100 lanterns last night as part of an international co-ordinated event to launch 1,000 glowing beacons into the sky – one for every day the youngster has been missing.

However, strong winds meant it would have been unsafe.

Instead, the family handed out candles to all the well-wishers as they listened to the family's words in the chapel.

Brian Kennedy said: "It's a shame that we couldn't light the lanterns, but the important thing is we remember what they symbolise. The flames represent light and hope and never giving up."

Residents from Rothley and the surrounding villages attended the event to show their support for the family.

Hannah Harvey, 14, from Rothley, said: "It's good to remember her and it's respectful to the family. Tonight will help people remember Maddy – it's important to never forget."

Frank Hull, 75, from Cropston, said: "The service was very beautiful. Tonight was about remembering a lovely girl and showing Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry that they have our support."

Jo Willars, 47, said: "I live in Rothley so all the news about Madeleine is literally very close to home.

"The village will always do what it can to help Kate and Gerry."

Chris Wright, 44, from Rothley, said: "I'm Kate's hairdresser and she used to come in all the time with Madeleine – she was such a lovely little girl.

"The events in Portugal have really had an effect on the village."

Candles mark Madeleine McCann's 1,000 days missing, 28 January 2010
Candles mark Madeleine McCann's 1,000 days missing BBC News

Janet Kennedy reads The Beacon by Simon Armitage

Page last updated at 09:38 GMT, Thursday, 28 January 2010

Candles were lit at a special event in Leicestershire to mark 1,000 days since Madeleine McCann went missing.

Simultaneous events took place in Portugal - where Madeleine disappeared in 2007 - mother Kate's home city of Liverpool, and in the United States.

Plans to release 1,000 lanterns into the sky above the McCanns' home village of Rothley were cancelled due to bad weather.

Parents Kate and Gerry McCann said the events symbolised them never giving up.

Madeleine was three years old when she went missing from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on 3 May 2007, while her parents dined with friends nearby.

A statement from the couple on their website said: "It is a symbolic way for our family, friends and supporters to show that we have not forgotten Madeleine and will never give up on her.

"We remember the first few days after Madeleine was taken, watching the clock and counting every hour.

"Now we've reached 1,000 days.

"It's difficult sometimes to understand how we've been able to keep going and survive without Madeleine, especially since nothing has changed since that terrifying first night. Madeleine is still missing.

"Sometimes it even feels 'wrong' to be coping. And yet if we weren't, there would be no search and no campaign to find Madeleine and that just doesn't bear thinking about."

The service took place at the Rothley Court Hotel and a poem, entitled The Beacon, was written for the event by Simon Armitage.

Amanda sticks to the case of missing Maddy, 28 January 2010
Amanda sticks to the case of missing Maddy ntnews.com.au

Amanda Oosterbaan, Picture: STUART WALMSLEY

Wulagi resident Amanda Oosterbaan, 14, is still obsessed with the Madeleine McCann case, 1000 days after the little British girl was reportedly snatched from her holiday home in Portugal.

DANIEL BOURCHIER
January 28th, 2010


A TERRITORY teenager says she is "obsessed" about raising awareness of missing child Madeleine McCann.

Amanda Oosterbaan, 14, has devoted her life for the past 12 months to helping find the toddler who disappeared in 2007.

Yesterday marked 1000 days since the disappearance of the little British girl allegedly snatched from her holiday home in Portugal.

Amanda, a Year 9 student at Sanderson Middle School, said she was drawn to the case and could not pinpoint exactly where her interest started.

"I feel that I have to make a difference and do something," she said.

And Amanda has been busy with her awareness campaign.

For the 1000-day anniversary she hung a poster on the front fence of her Wulagi home which read "Bring Back Madeleine McCann".

Amanda said she posts an average of 30 blogs on discussion sites a week, keeps herself informed of all alleged sightings and breaking news developments, has photos of McCann on her MSN page, and carries a collection of photos of McCann with her to show whenever she meets someone new.

"I believe she's still alive," Amanda said. "It just doesn't feel like she's dead. Maybe her life is living hell, but I don't believe she's dead."

Amanda's mum Nadina Cauchi said she had no idea where the interest has come from.

Madeleine '1000 days' lanterns spark alert, 28 January 2010
Madeleine '1000 days' lanterns spark alert The Northern Times

Published: 28 January 2010

CHINESE lanterns set off on Wednesday evening in north west Sutherland in memory of missing Madeleine McCann, sparked an alert involving police and coastguards.

A woman reported seeing three bright orange lights in the sky at around 9pm in the Scourie area. She feared they were flares which had been set off by someone in distress.

Police called out the local coastguard unit who spotted more of the lights. But enquiries revealed they were Chinese lanterns set off to mark the 1000 days since the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. Lanterns have been released across the UK in support of Jerry and Kate McCann's search for their missing daughter.

But local police have now asked to be informed if anyone is still planning to release the lanterns in the Sutherland area.

Never give up, 30 January 2010
Never give up Daily Mirror

Fiona Phillips
30/01/2010

I attended An Evening For Madeleine 1,000 Days On on Wednesday. It's that long since Madeleine McCann was abducted while on holiday in Portugal.

It's that long - though it must seem like an eternity - that Kate and Gerry McCann have suffered the greatest sadness there can ever be. The loss of their beautiful daughter lives with them every moment of every day.

Kate told friends, supporters and fundraisers: "I can't speak too much about Madeleine, otherwise I'll be in a heap." She did say how much "Madeleine is still loved, she is still missed and we want her back so much".

Kate and Gerry paused to compose themselves several times. After a moving video - reminding us of the search for Madeleine - had the whole room in tears, Gerry's voice broke as he said: "It's so painful watching that." Their message was: Don't give up on Madeleine or the hundreds of other missing children. Go to www.findmadeleine.com or call 0845 838 4699.

Comic's £45,000 turn for Maddie, 31 January 2010
Comic's £45,000 turn for Maddie Sunday Express

Jack Dee has helped to raise £45,000 to keep up the search for Madeleine McCann

By Tracey Kandohla
Sunday January 31,2010


COMEDIAN Jack Dee has helped to raise £45,000 to keep up the search for Madeleine McCann.

He played auctioneer at an event to mark the 1,000 days since she disappeared in May 2007.

Among the prizes were flights donated by Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson and signed Harry Potter books.

Maddie's parents Kate and Gerry welcomed 180 celebrities and supporters to the £150-a-head gala dinner in Kensington, west London, last week.

The £90,000 raised will be split between the Maddie Fund and two other missing people’s charities.

The McCanns' spokesman Clarence Mitchell said yesterday: "It was a fantastic evening and showed the depth of support that Kate and Gerry have."

Formby residents in tribute to missing Maddie, 03 February 2010
Formby residents in tribute to missing Maddie Champion News

Susan Healy releases a lantern at Formby FC

By Natasha Young
03 February 2010


Hundreds of residents braved the cold winds at Formby Football Club last week, to mark the 1,000th day of the search for missing Madeleine McCann.

With the aim of releasing 250 lanterns into the sky, the event was one of four that took place simultaneously across the country. Other locations included London, Scotland and Madeleine's hometown of Rothley in Leicestershire. 

Schoolchildren, churches, and Formby FC members attended the event, alongside residents and friends and local relatives of the McCanns.

There was also a singing performance and a prayer reading at the ceremony.

A Formby FC spokesperson told The Champion: "It went really well and everyone was there for the right reasons. Formby FC is at the centre of the community and it was really fitting to be holding the event here."

Local councillor Barry Griffiths, who was also present at the event, added: "People were very respectful and we felt priviledged to be having the event here.

"Residents did us proud and stood out in the bitterly cold weather."

Madeleine's parents, Gerry and Liverpool-born Kate McCann, were not present at the event as they were hosting a fundraising evening in London to help keep their campaign in the public eye.
Lighting a candle for Maddie, 04 February 2010
Lighting a candle for Maddie Bedford Today

04 February 2010 11:30 AM

Students light Chinese lanterns to mark 1,000 days since the disappearance of Madeleine McCann

A teacher who grew up with the father of Madeleine McCann enlisted the help of pupils to mark 1,000 days since her disappearance.

Pupils at St John Rigby Lower School in Polhill Avenue took part in the national lighting of 1,000 Chinese lanterns last Wednesday to raise awareness of the search for the missing tot.

Caroline Swift, who organised the event, said: "I have known Gerry all my life, our mothers were friends when we were growing up.

"This is not the kind of thing that you ever encounter, it's very shocking and it's ongoing. As memories fade Kate and Gerry are still living this nightmare."

Madeleine McCann was abducted in Praia da Luz, Portugal in May 2007. To find out more visit http://www.findmadeleine.com/

With thanks to Nigel at McCann Files

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