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Couple hit £285,000 in fundraising for hospital

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Fundraisers are hailing a ‘remarkable’ couple who have raised £285,000 for a leading Sheffield cancer charity.

Darren and Gail Baker have spent the last eight years raising money for Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity, by organising an annual sell-out charity ball at the Magna Centre.

This year’s glittering event, which was attended by 870 guests, raised £40,000 bringing their grand total to date up to £285,000.

The couple began their fundraising drive in 2005 when Darren’s dad John died just two months after being diagnosed with stomach cancer.

Darren, from Bramley, Rotherham, said: “Gail and I are delighted we have had another successful event this year, and to now have passed the quarter of a million mark is incredible.

“We would like to thank all the people who have supported us – we could not have done it without them. Particular thanks go to photographer Karl Stancliffe who does all our pictures on the evening and those at Magna who are so obliging.

“Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity is close to our hearts and we are very passionate about what we do for them. The money we raise goes directly to help fund vital cancer research, treatment and care for patients.

“We are patrons of the charity now so we are in this for the long haul and are excited to see how much we can raise over the coming years.”

This year’s ball had an array of top quality entertainment and incredible prizes up for auction, including a private plane for a day trip to France, full use of Bramall Lane for an 11-a-side football match and a holiday on a luxury yacht.

Catherine Rhone, deputy director at the charity, said: “Darren and Gail are a remarkable couple who have put so much effort into fundraising for us over the past eight years.

“The money they have raised is beyond belief and we cannot thank them enough for organising such a stunning event year after year.

“To have reached over £250,000 is astonishing and we are so grateful to them and all the people who help make their event happen. It is only with the support of people like Darren and Gail that we can continue our work to provide the best possible care for people with cancer in our region.”

Next year’s ball is already booked at Magna for September 2014.

 

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