Gallery: Ipswich Midnight Walkers stride their way to �200,000!

IPSWICH: Remembering treasured memories of loved ones, nearly 2,000 women who were determined to make a difference, took to the streets of Ipswich to raise �200,000 for the town’s hospice.

Pounding the streets of the eight-mile route, about 1,900 women took part in this year’s Midnight Walk for St Elizabeth Hospice.

The fancy dress fundraisers set off from the start line at Ipswich Town Football Club in Portman Road at 11pm on Saturday, completing the eight-mile sponsored walk around the town centre.

For hundreds of the women taking part in the all women event, it was a chance to walk in memory of a loved one who may have been helped by the hospice in Foxhall Road.

To kick off the night’s entertainment Bollywood dance expert Honey Kalaria, who has performed with celebrities including Beyonce, led a warm-up to prepare those taking part in the hospice’s biggest fundraiser of the year, which is supported by The Evening Star.


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And along the route new attractions introduced this year included fire eaters, stilt walkers, jugglers, while firefighters at Colchester Road fire station were out in force again this year to pose for photographs, as were the topless collar and cuffs men outside the California Club in Foxhall Road.

For the first time this year the hundreds of women had a poignant moment for reflection along the route, outside the hospice where a memory tree bore hundreds of heartfelt messages in remembrance of loved ones.

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Hospice chief executive Jane Petit said: “I would like to thank all the women who took part in the Midnight Walk 2011 for St Elizabeth Hospice.

“It was a tremendous night and we estimate it raised around �200,000 which will have a real impact on helping us to continue to provide specialist services free of charge for people in Suffolk living with a progressive illness. The money will make a real difference to our patients, their families and carers and on behalf of them I would also like to say thank you.”

The first walkers returned in an hour and 50 minutes with the last women arriving at 3am.

n Are you raising money for the hospice? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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