STARS OUT IN FORCE FOR MIDNIGHT WALK
HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE turned out on Saturday 5 September for the third annual Midnight Walk to raise money for local hospice care.
Seven hundred and twenty women joined together to share the feeling as they walked seven miles from Hartlepool Maritime Experience along the promenade to Seaton Carew Golf Club and back at Midnight.
Tracy Woodall Chief Executive of Hartlepool and District Hospice took part in the walk in memory of her cousin, Carl Schneider, with her mother Brenda Schneider, daughter Penny Woodall and granddaughter Jade Woodall.
Tracy said “It was a lovely evening and everyone was so high spirited it was fantastic. As we walked along it was great to hear different people’s reasons for being part of this special event. Each person who came out tonight is a star and their contribution will make a vital difference to people in their local area accessing our specialist care and support.”
Many of the women who took part in the sponsored night walk were remembering loved ones. Seven women from the same family stepped out in memory of their mother Teresa Lowery dressed as fairies to thank the Hospice for the care she had received before she died in May 2007.
Teresa’s daughter Ann Laverick, 51, from Horden said “It was a fabulous evening, we all did really well and finished in an hour and a half. We think we’ve raised around £700 for such a great cause and our Mam would have been so proud.”
Ann was joined by Teresa’s other daughters Angela Burdett, 47, and Marie Bentley, 46, daughter-in-law Kelly Lowery, 30, grand-daughter Pamela Lowery, 29, and partners of her grandsons Louise Temple, 25 and Nicola Matthews, 20.
The first walkers back were Anna Jorgeson, 37, daughter Haleigh Jorgeson, 12 and nieces Jamila Bennett, 11, Ebony Elliot, 11 and Yasmine Elliot, 12 who completed the walk by 1:10am. They arrived back with lead walkers Jean Walsh, who got the crowd ready for the walk with a keep-fit warm up, and Kath Rowe.
As well as remembering loved ones some of the participants were celebrating life and achievements of their own.
One of the walkers talking part, Edith Ward, 71 from Hartlepool, was celebrating being free from Breast Cancer after receiving the all clear in June this year. Edith was wearing a tabard with ‘I’m one of the lucky ones’ written on to show people that the disease can be beaten.
“I think it’s a miracle that I’m free of breast cancer, I feel so lucky. I was diagnosed in December 2008 and had an operation to remove the lump in January this year. In June doctors gave me a gold star saying they expect me to be clear for 10 years.
"I wanted to come along and support the Hospice to help those who are not so lucky get the care they deserve. Tonight was fantastic and worth every step. It was great to see so many young people getting involved and supporting the Hospice.”
All walkers had returned to the Maritime Experience by 2:30am and were presented with a medal before enjoying a hot breakfast roll and drink in celebration.
Early estimates show the event looks set to raise over £50,000 for Hartlepool and District Hospice.
Tracy Woodall, Chief Executive said “I would like to thank everyone who was part of this fantastic evening, the walkers and their sponsors, our volunteers and staff, the Maritime Experience and Seaton Carew Golf Club along with the Marshalls and Emergency services for helping make the event such a success.
“All the money that is raised from this event will ensure that local people affected by life limiting illness or the death of a loved one can access the specialist care and bereavement support they need. Thank you and we look forward to seeing everyone again next year.”
Walkers are asked to collect and return their sponsorship money before November 2009.