WATCH: Conga dancers in world record attempt for Toni, 44
PUBLISHED: 16:52 28 April 2019 | UPDATED: 14:49 29 April 2019
Dancers sashayed their way down Felixstowe seafront to a familiar tune – in an attempt to smash a Guinness World Record in memory of a Suffolk nurse.
Members of the Ipswich Outdoor Group braved the weather and kicked off an epic conga dancing feat from the promenade, near the town's pier, to raise cash for St Elizabeth Hospice.
From there, they headed south towards Mannings before turning back – repeating the route as many times as they could, hoping to reach or beat their eight-mile target. The current record is 7.84 miles, set in Brighton three years ago.
This quirky challenge is part of a series of fundraising events in aid of the 'Ride for Toni' campaign, raising cash for St Elizabeth Hospice in memory of Toni Wright, 44, from Ipswich.
She was married to one of the group's members, John, and died at the hospice in May 2017.
John, who took part in the conga dance challenge himself, is full of praise for the hospice: “We were amazed by the amount of care and love and support they gave her, and the family too.
“It's a lovely, tranquil setting there – the people, the staff, are just fantastic.
“When my wife Toni was in there, they brought in lambs and rodents for people to pet – it's a lovely place to be, if you have to be there.”
Toni's father Alwyn Nash added: “We're here to support John, my son-in-law, it's a brilliant thing that he's doing with the rest of his outward bound group, and it's to support the Ride for Toni campaign.
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“Toni died in St Elizabeth Hospice just two years ago.
“It is an amazing place, we can never thank them enough – the place is just full of angels that look after everybody every day.
“We are just trying to raise as much as we can, the campaign has been going two years now, and the money has topped £70,000 so every penny counts.”
Organiser Simon Fevyer wanted to thank the people of Felixstowe for supporting the challenge.
“We battled the elements – I think we had all four seasons in the five and a half or so hours we were out there,” he said.
“We managed 11 miles which is a lot more than we expected.
“I'd also like to say thank you very much to the people of Felixstowe for supporting us and cheering us on.”
Beth Condie, community fundraising manager at the hospice, joined the conga crew at Felixstowe seafront today.
She said: “This is a first – and it's crazy, and we love it.
“We're hoping members of the public will come down and support these guys, who are really going out of their way to raise money for the hospice – but also to break a world record.”
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