Ipswich Town footballers Tommy Smith, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Lee Martin and Andy Drury joined patients and staff at St Elizabeth Hospice today (Feb 7th) to start the 100 day countdown until the charity’s biggest fundraising event of the year, the Midnight Walk.
The Midnight Walk takes place on Saturday 18th May 2013 and has historically been an annual ladies-only mass participation challenge, but this year there are several new twists including the opportunity to run and for men to take part.
The players are supporting the Hospice by encouraging men to walk or run the eight or five mile routes – which start from Ipswich Town Football Club – and are appealing for them to unite with groups of family, colleagues or friends.
Members of the Town first team visited the Hospice to meet staff and patients and officially started the 100 day countdown until the Midnight Walk.
Around 300 people have already signed up for the Midnight Walk and the Hospice would like to see 1,500 participants on the night – helping to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds to grow local hospice care for local people.
Town defender Tommy Smith said: “St Elizabeth Hospice is a fantastic charity which has been supported by the Club for a number of years. They undertake outstanding work for our local community, which a few of us saw firsthand when we visited at Christmas time. When we heard the Midnight Walk was this year open to men as well as women, the players and I were only too happy to help to promote the event. It sounds as if it’s going to be a great night, for a great cause.
Leanne Carhart, who is organising the Midnight Walk, said: “It is going to be a great night with a unique atmosphere on Saturday 18th May; we are eagerly counting down the 100 days and can’t wait. We would like as many men and women as possible to sign up to have fun and help support their local hospice at the same time. We are so glad that players from ITFC have found time to support the Midnight Walk and for all their continued support of the Hospice, it really makes a difference.”
The Hospice provides services free of charge to patients and their families in East Suffolk, North Essex and South East Norfolk, but relies on fundraising and donations to meet most of its £8.7m a year running costs.
St Elizabeth Hospice’s Midnight Walk is the charity’s biggest and most popular sponsored event and the money it raises helps fund services so they can be provided free of charge,
Many people take part in groups as a fitness challenge, in memory of a loved one or just to have a fun night out. All participants are asked to raise sponsorship.
Midnight Walk 2013 is also supported by the East Anglian Daily Times, Ipswich Star and Town 102.
Registration costs just £15; to sign up or find out more visit http://www.midnightwalkipswich.co.uk/ or call 01473 707043.