Local fundraisers, businesses and community choirs teamed up in a number of events last month to raise awareness and money in aid of transplant charity Live Life Give Life.
The fundraising, which culminated in a ‘Love lives on in us’ Anniversary Party at Mid Sussex Golf Club on 21st March, has so far raised £6,000 with funds still coming in.
The party celebrated the first anniversary of a successful kidney and pancreas transplant for Burgess Hill’s Kate Foster.
Kate led the fundraising alongside fellow transplantee Sarah Jones, who had a successful kidney transplant nine years ago, and friend Laura Penfold.
Three local companies: Masters and Sons, Lindfield, Helme and Hallett, Cuckfield and Eternal Youth Beauty Salon, Burgess Hill sponsored the event.
Over 100 lucky ticket holders enjoyed a dinner dance, auction and raffle draw with prizes including £100 cash, an Aspinal handbag, a case of wine and a Brighton & Hove Albion signed football shirt donated to the charity event.
Prior to the party, on four successive Saturdays, the team raised awareness of organ donation in The Market Place, Burgess Hill, selling the raffle tickets and organising two flashmobs alongside Rock Choir Burgess Hill and Haywards Heath.
Charity Live Life Give Life gives hope by encouraging people to register as organ donors via awareness campaigns and events. Similarly, they hope that relatives of those who have donated their organs will draw comfort from the knowledge that their loved ones live on by way of helping others to achieve their dreams.
Kate Foster commented: “By encouraging people to talk about organ donation and exchange views on the subject, whether or not they have been directly affected, the whole concept has become less taboo and more a celebration of what could be.
“I would like to thank all of those who kindly gave their support and donations to the events; by raising awareness we can ultimately help to save lives.
“The question you need to ask yourselves is, if you needed an organ would you accept one? If the answer is YES then please consider being an donor www.organdonation.nhs.uk.”
During the evening, there was also a tear jerking speech by Darran Saunders, an advocate of the charity, who’s son Connor was on the organ donation register when he suddenly passed away.
Despite not knowing of his pledge, his family honoured his wish and his organs saved the lives of five others.
In her speech, Darran stressed the importance of organ donation and letting others know in case the worst happens.
For more details of Connor’s story and to learn more about the charity and their work visit www.livelifegivelife.org.uk
Report and picture contributed by Ben Adams.