Stars back hospice's auction

By Dave GooderhamPRIME Minister Tony Blair and the Duchess of York have pledged their support to a hospice's celebrity auction by offering signed limited edition prints and handwritten letters to the appeal.

By Dave Gooderham

PRIME Minister Tony Blair and the Duchess of York have pledged their support to a hospice's celebrity auction by offering signed limited edition prints and handwritten letters to the appeal.

These are among 133 lots that will be going under the hammer for St Nicholas Hospice in Bury St Edmunds at the end of the month.

The celebrity signature and memorabilia auction has a little something for everyone with signed Ipswich Town shirts, limited edition motor racing prints and musical items to suit all tastes and ages – from Gareth Gates to Tom Jones.


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Film fans are also well catered for with signed prints of John Travolta, Sir Michael Caine and Robbie Coltraine dressed as Hagrid from the Harry Potter movies.

One of the more unusual items in the auction is a thank you note from the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, and a pair of silver diamante shoes from Australian actress and singer, Danni Minogue.

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Sue Meader, community fundraiser at the hospice, said: "Some of the items donated are really unusual and unique, so the auction is sure to generate a lot of interest.

"As a registered charity, fundraising is vital to the hospice. We need to raise £2.8million each year – £3,500 each and every day – from voluntary income, donations, legacies and fundraising events in order to keep the doors open and continue our care."

The auction, which will take place on October 27 at Lacy Scott & Knight Auctioneers in Bury St Edmunds, is set to gain greater exposure after Internet company Invaluable pledged to promote the event on the worldwide web.

Ms Meader added: "Having our catalogue available to be viewed by people all over the world is exciting. I'm sure both Lacy Scott & Knight and Invaluable's support will dramatically increase the attendance at the auction and the income we gain from it.

"We hope it will be a fun evening and that people who want to get an unusual and one-off gift for someone, as well as avid collectors, will be there."

St Nicholas Hospice, based in Macmillan Way, was founded in 1984 and serves a population of 250,000 in west Suffolk and Thetford.

It cares for patients suffering from terminal illnesses like cancer, motor neurone disease and multiple sclerosis.

Catalogues for the auction are available from the auctioneers, the hospice's fundraising department, Dance Crazy in St John's Street, Bury St Edmunds or online at www.invaluable.com/stnicholashospice.

dave.gooderham@eadt.co.uk

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