A memorial fund to raise money for heart screening in the Garstang area has reached £100,000.
The Matthew Hesmondalgh Memorial Fund was launched six-and-a-half years ago by parents Barry and Paula after their son died of an undiagnosed heart condition in 2011.
Since then, family and friends, as well as members of the wider community have rallied round to organise events and challenges to raise funds for CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young) in his honour.
Events have included sponsored walks, cake sales, marathons, a Rust to Rome car banger challenge, a twilight treasure hunt, and clothes sales.
Barry and Paula are delighted with everyone’s fund-raising efforts over the last six-and-a-half years.
Paula said: “A journey that began six-and-a half years ago with a few coins collected in a milk bottle and an idea hatched with Matt’s close friends to try to fund a heart screening in his memory has led to an astounding total of £100,000 being sent to CRY.
“It’s a real testament to the unstinting generosity of countless folks and we cannot thank everyone enough.
“Blood, sweat and tears have, quite literally, been shed, bones broken and knees dislocated, all in the name of fund-raising, but there’s also been loads of creativity, inspirational deeds, fabulous achievements, personal bests and exhausted elation.
“Matt would have loved the conviviality, the teamwork, the spirit of giving. He would be the first to toast such love and support, raising a glass or two in celebration of the achievement for such a worthy cause.
“Together we are saving lives. This is Matthew’s legacy and we are proud of that.”
Barry and Paula were given an extra boost when Team Shazann and Garstang Scarecrow Festival, donated a further £9,190. The team raised £18,380 in total through a variety of initiatives, including a Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge, quiz night, and donations instead of wedding and birthday gifts. They gave half to Matthew’s fund and the rest to Macmillan during a presentation at Bridge 64 Cafe Bar, Garstang.
The money the memorial fund raises goes towards providing free heart screenings for young people aged 14 to 35 through CRY. To date, 1,000 people have been screened. The last screening raised £642 and more than 30 bags of clothes were collected, which boosted funds.