Moonlight and Memories Walk hailed a huge success!
A pink procession of more than 750 proud walkers wound their way around Preston on Saturday night taking part in the Moonlight and Memories Walk in aid of St Catherine’s Hospice.
The Lostock Hall hospice’s biggest fundraising event of the year was a huge success which is expected to raise more than £54,000 to support the care they provide to people with life-limiting illnesses and their families.
Walkers took on either an eight or a 13.1 mile route, proudly wearing their pink T-shirts with the names and photographs of those they were walking in memory on the back.
Mums, dads, grandmas, granddads, aunties, uncles, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives and friends were also celebrated on the event’s first Memory Wall – where walkers posted moving tributes written on butterflies and attached photographs.
Tracey Roscoe from Lostock Hall was taking part with her 16-year-old daughter Chloe, walking in memory of their dad/granddad Jimmy Hartley who died two years ago.
Tracey said: “It was Chloe’s idea to take part – when the leaflet came through the door she asked if we could do it in memory of granddad. We took on the 13.1 mile route and we’re sure he would be very proud!”
Friends and neighbours Elizabeth Singleton and Christina Ibrams, from Ingol, brought a tropical twist to the event wearing colourful garlands and grasskirts.
Christina, aged 56, said: “I work at Hutton police headquarters and along with Elizabeth and I there is a group from here taking part to raise money for a wonderful cause.
“I am walking in memory of several people – my mum and dad, aunt and uncle and also my son’s father who died very young and received care from a hospice. My message says ‘for those who have gone too soon’.”
Elizabeth, aged 63, added: “I’m walking for my brother-in-law and my uncle – it feels very special to be honouring their memories tonight, and for such a great charity.”
It was a real family occasion for Dawn Withnell from Buckshaw Village, Chorley – as she took part with partner Chris, and their three sons Lewis, 16, Owen, 14, and Dylan, 11.
She said: “This is the third year I have done the walk, and I am chuffed that the guys have been able to come along this year – it’s a really nice thing to do as a family.
“We’re walking in memory of my mum Valerie who passed away in October from cancer. She was cared for on the In-Patient Unit at St Catherine’s for about two weeks before she died.
“You cannot fault the hospice – it’s an absolutely fantastic place. I’m sure my mum was willing us along and was watching over us – which is why it didn’t rain!
“I think the T-shirts this year are a lovely idea and we’ve also posted a message on the Memory Wall for her.”
Rachel Alty, from Lostock Hall, took part in the 13.1 mile walk with nine members of her family.
They were striding out in memory of her dad Dave who died in January at the age of 61 after being cared for by St Catherine’s.
The 29-year-old said: “The staff at St Catherine’s are absolutely fantastic – we were there are all over Christmas and New Year and they made it such a special time for us.
“We did the skydive for St Catherine’s in April and we’re very pleased to have done the walk – we’re sure our dad would be chuffed.”
Lorraine Charlesworth, director of Income Generation at St Catherine’s Hospice, thanked everyone who had made the night such a success.
“We were touched and thrilled that so many people came out to support us at our seventh Moonlight and Memories Walk,” she said.
“There was a very emotive atmosphere on the night as we read the many tributes to the people in whose honour walkers were taking part.
“It didn’t matter if those people had a connection with St Catherine’s or not – it was about remembering them and the special person they were, all while raising vital funds to support the specialised care we provide to those with life-limiting illnesses and their families.”
Lorraine added her thanks St George’s shopping centre in Preston – the event’s sponsors – and Starbucks at the Capital Centre – who stayed open late to be a pit-stop for walkers – as well as everyone who volunteered their time to help with the event, both prior to the walk and on the night.
“We really couldn’t have done it without them and are extremely grateful for their efforts,” she said.
Now the hospice is encouraging all those who took part to collect and send in their sponsorship money as soon as possible
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