A dinner organised as a tribute to the legendary poultry farmer who put Goosnargh duck on the culinary map, turned out to be a real menu pleaser, raising £20,000 for two charities.
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Reg Johnson, who owned Johnson and Swarbrick poultry farm, was well known for getting the country’s top chefs to prefix their duck and chicken dishes with the word Goosnargh to put the village on the culinary map.
Following his sudden death in 2015, his family set up the Reg Johnson Foundation, as a way of fund-raising for his chosen causes - Rosemere Cancer Foundation and cardiac rehabilitation charity Heartbeat, based at Preston North End’s Deepdale ground.
Reg’s daughter Kara Johnson and family friend Norma Scott organised a charity dinner, helped by another of Reg’s close friends, Northcote’s Michelin-starred chef Nigel Haworth.
The event, held at Blackburn Rovers’ Ewood Park ground, raised £20,000 for the foundation, which has now been equally divided between Rosemere and Heartbeat.
Rosemere fund-raising co-ordinator Louise Grant said: “We are extremely grateful to Kara, Norma and all supporters of the Reg Johnson Foundation for this amazing donation.
“It’s been my privilege to work with them and through them.
“I feel I have got to know Reg, who worked tirelessly to establish Goosnargh as a poultry quality mark.
“His achievement is a fantastic legacy as is the phenomenal amount of money raised at his tribute dinner.”
On behalf of Heartbeat, senior fund-raising officer Lisa Riding, said: “I would also like to thank all those that supported the Reg Johnson Foundation at the event, which raised this amazing amount for two local charities.
“2018 is extremely significant for Heartbeat as it celebrates 40 years serving the local community. The money raised from this event will go towards the much-needed funds which enables Heartbeat to provide rehabilitation classes to more than 900 people per week.”