A family who embarked on a relentless fundraising in memory of their loved one has raised more than £48,000 for a charity close to their hearts.
Alongside their family and friends father and daughter Darren and Connie Gibbs launched their Zena 10 fundraising in June 2014, which marked the 10th anniversary of the death of Darren’s partner and Connie’s mother Zena Butcher, 37.
Backed by their family and friends they initially hoped to raise £10,000 for St Nicholas Hospice Care, which helped the family through Zena’s six-year battle with a malignant brain tumour.
However, the combined efforts of the Zena 10 fundraising team have led to £48,490.97 being raised for the charity, which supports those across west Suffolk and Thetford coping with long-term and life-threatening illnesses.
Having organised a series of fundraising events and entered teams in the charity’s Girls Night Out moonlight walk, the team’s latest fundraising event, a sell-out charity ball added an incredible £5,189 to their total.
The occasion, which was organised by Zena’s sisters Mandy Smart and Tracey Butcher alongside Zena’s daughter Connie and Tracey’s daughters Haydn and Jordan Gross, took place on October 28, and marked what would have been Zena’s 50th birthday, on October 22.
The ball, which was attended by more than 200 people, had a masquerade theme, was the third of its kind and also featured a raffle, took place at Ashlar House, Eastern Way, Bury St Edmunds.
Tracey said: “It was such a good evening and we were all really pleased with how everything went. It was a sell-out event and we are so grateful to everyone who supported us. It was a great night.
“We would like to say thank you to everyone who helped especially Ashlar House, William McColl from Roff Caterers, Mickey Logan for the music and Crafty Foxes for the centre pieces.”
The funds raised by the ball have put the team within touching distance of raising £50,000 a milestone which they hope to reach in 2018.
“We already have next year’s ball booked but we are hoping to be able to do some other fundraising in between before to reach the £50,000 mark,” added Tracey.
Some of the money raised by the Zena 10 team has helped to fund Nicky’s Way, the hospice’s bereavement programme for children and young people, which helped Connie and Darren after Zena died in 2005.
The Nicky’s Way programme is the only service of its kind in Suffolk, and is open to any youngster who lives in West Suffolk or Thetford and has been bereaved, whether connected to the hospice or not.
The services helps young people feel less lonely and isolated following the death of a loved one, giving them the opportunity to share their emotions and help families talk together about their loss.
Charlie De-Moore, St Nicholas Hospice Care Events Fundraiser, said: “We are so grateful to Connie, Mandy, Tracey, Jordan, Haydn and all of the Zena 10 fundraisers for their continued support. The passion they have all shown for the hospice with their fundraising efforts has been inspirational. Every single penny they have raised has made, and will continue to make, an incredible difference to our hospice and the people we help.”http://news.suffolkvillage.info/wp-admin/edit.php
For more information on Nicky’s Way and the hospice’s services visit www.stnicholashospice.org.uk
Pictured above (left to right) are Tracey Butcher, Haydn Gross, Jordan Gross, Mandy Smart and Connie Gibbs who visited St Nicholas Hospice Care to hand over recent funds raised in memory of Zena Butcher.
Ball boosts team’s total as fundraisers for St Nicholas Hospice Care hope to reach £50,000