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Fundraising in memory of Bury St Edmunds woman close to reaching £50k

PUBLISHED: 21:42 02 January 2018 | UPDATED: 18:32 03 January 2018

Left to right: Tracey Butcher, Haydn Gross, Jordan Gross, Mandy Smart and Connie Gibbs visited St Nicholas Hospice Care to hand over recent funds raised in memory of Zena Butcher. Picture: ST NICHOLAS HOSPICE CARE

Left to right: Tracey Butcher, Haydn Gross, Jordan Gross, Mandy Smart and Connie Gibbs visited St Nicholas Hospice Care to hand over recent funds raised in memory of Zena Butcher. Picture: ST NICHOLAS HOSPICE CARE

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Fundraising efforts in memory of a Bury St Edmunds woman have raised nearly £50,000 for the hospice which cared for her.

Family and friends of Zena Butcher, who died aged 37 in 2005 after a six-year battle with a malignant brain tumour, launched their Zena 10 fundraising campaign in June 2015.

Zena’s partner, Darren Gibbs, and daughter, Connie Gibbs, initially hoped to raise £10,000 for St Nicholas Hospice Care, but £48,490 has so far been raised for the charity thanks to the combined efforts of the fundraising team.

A series of fundraising events have taken place and the latest – a sell-out charity ball – saw another £5,189 raised.

The ball, which was organised by Zena’s sisters Mandy Smart and Tracey Butcher, alongside Zena’s daughter Connie and Tracey’s daughters, took place on October 28, and marked what would have been Zena’s 50th birthday on October 22.

The event, which was attended by more than 200 people and had a masquerade theme, was the third of its kind and took place at Ashlar House, Eastern Way, Bury St Edmunds.

Tracey said: “It was such a good evening and we were all really pleased with how everything went. It was a sell-out event and we are so grateful to everyone who supported us. It was a great night.

“We would like to say thank you to everyone who helped especially Ashlar House, William McColl from Roff Caterers, Mick Logan for the music and Crafty Foxes for the centre pieces.”

The funds raised by the ball have put the team within touching distance of reaching £50,000 – a milestone they hope to achieve this year.

Some of the money raised by the Zena 10 team has helped to fund Nicky’s Way, the hospice’s bereavement programme for children and young people, which helped Connie and Darren after Zena died.

The Nicky’s Way programme is the only service of its kind in Suffolk, and is open to any youngster who lives in West Suffolk or Thetford and has been bereaved – whether connected to the hospice or not.

Charlie De-Moore, St Nicholas Hospice Care events fundraiser, said: “We are so grateful to Connie, Mandy, Tracey, Jordan, Haydn and all of the Zena 10 fundraisers for their continued support.

“The passion they have all shown for the hospice with their fundraising efforts has been inspirational. Every single penny they have raised has made, and will continue to make, an incredible difference to our hospice and the people we help.”

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