Maria hits fundraising trail in tribute to brother

Maria Bennie and her mother in law Mary Bennie with the BHF's mascot Mr Hearty at The Metrodome, Barnsley.
Maria Bennie and her mother in law Mary Bennie with the BHF's mascot Mr Hearty at The Metrodome, Barnsley.
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A WOMAN whose 32-year-old brother died suddenly of a heart attack has joined forces with the British Heart Foundation in his memory.

Maria Bennie, aged 31, raised more than £850 during February – National Heart Month – by taking part in the Rock Up In Red fundraising campaign, which encouraged people to dress in red in return for sponsorship.

Now, almost a year after losing her brother, Maria is launching a new BHF fundraising group and calling on local people to find out more about supporting the BHF.

The first BHF Barnsley Fundraising Group meeting will be at Barnsley Metrodome tonight at 7pm. Anyone interested in raising funds is welcome.

Maria, of Worsbrough Bridge, said: “My brother John Fitzpatrick died on April 15 last year. It really hit me hard, we were very close. I still miss him dearly.”

Mum-of-two Maria recruited friends and family to help spread the message and raise money.

Barnsley Metrodome, Slimming World members, small businesses and Barnsley Market traders donated prizes for a raffle.

Andy and Wendy Longden, from Barnsley, agreed to get involved by selling tickets and donating prizes.

Now Andy is joining Maria on a sponsored skydive to raise even more money.

BHF fundraising volunteer manager Lauren Mallinson said: “A huge thanks to Maria and family and friends for their fantastic fundraising efforts during February.

“It has been inspiring to witness how they are dealing with their tragic bereavement and how they are rallying the local community together to do even more.”