A family’s unwavering efforts have become a lasting legacy as their incredible fundraising drive led to more than £50,000 raised for a local hospice.
In June 2015, the family of Zena Butcher came together to launch the Zena 10 fundraising campaign in her memory.
Less than three years later the total they have raised for St Nicholas Hospice Care amounts to £50,200.06.
Initially the group, led by Zena’s daughter Connie Gibbs, Zena’s partner Darren Gibbs and her sisters Tracey Butcher and Mandy Smart, wanted to raise £10,000 in four months to mark the 10th anniversary of her death.
The family wanted to support the hospice because of the help they received during Zena’s six-year battle with a malignant brain tumour.
Connie, 19, said: “It is just incredible. Really, I have no words to describe how it feels to have raised this much. It has been a proper family achievement and I am just so pleased that we have been able to achieve this. It is mum’s legacy.
“When we first started our fundraising we wanted to raise £10,000 in four months, that was our target and we were all focused on it. We had 36 events planned in that time and everyone was determined.”
The team were pushed over the £50,000 mark earlier this month after Tracey’s son Byron Gross completed the Brighton Marathon on Sunday, April 16, with his efforts raising £1,300 to date.
“We hit the £50,000 almost at the same time Byron was crossing the finish line and that was really special,” added Connie.
The group is determined to carry on with their fundraising, they will be donning their bunny ears and taking part in Girls Night Out and they have their annual ball booked in for October, which is arranged to coincide with Zena’s birthday.
Tracey said: “The support we have had from the whole community has been fantastic. Family, friends, everyone. It has been a real team effort, which is just what we are – team Zena 10.”
Some of the money raised has been used to fund Nicky’s Way, the Hospice’s children and young people’s bereavement programme, which helped Connie and Darren after Zena died aged 37 in 2005.
Pictured above, left to right, are Zena’s nephew Byron Gross who helped tip the team over their fundraising target alongside Zena’s sister Mandy Smart, daughter Connie Gibbs and sister Tracey Butcher.