A CHARITY champion is hoping to break the £100,000 barrier in the new year as his fundraising feats go from strength to strength.
Hartlepool hero Michael Day set up Miles for Men in 2012 in memory of of his beloved dad, Michael Senior.
He died in 2007, aged 67, then Michael’s close friend Stuart Gaffney lost his cancer fight in March 2010, aged 45.
The dad-of-three from Innes Road was inspired by women’s cancer run Race for Life and wanted to organise a similar event for men.
So the Miles for Men charity and fun run was born, and has been held twice, with its spiralling success seeing Michael branching out into other fundraising activities with runs in Liverpool and Newcastle.
And dozens of town residents have jumped on board by holding their own events to raise money for the charity.
In the last six months Miles for Men has raised a whopping £43,000 bringing the total since it was launched 18 months ago to a staggering £83,000.
Now Michael, and the rest of the Miles for Men team, are determined to keep up the good work with more events planned for 2014.
He said: “It’s been absolutely unbelievable.
“We’re getting noticed all over the place and people are asking to do things and raise money for us here, there and everywhere.
“£83,000 is amazing in 18 months. When we first started out we thought we’d be happy if could raise between £5,000 and £7,000, but then after that first race we did in Hartlepool, things went crazy.
“Local companies have come on board and helped us for nothing, it’s just brilliant. I have little old dears stop me in the street and ask if I’m the one who does Miles for Men, and they get fivers out of their purse and tell me to put it in the kitty.
“The public of Hartlepool are amazing and I can’t thank them enough. They’ve taken us to another level and the impact they’ve had is second to none.”
He added: “My dad and Stuart would be chuffed to bits.
“My dad was a keen runner and he raised money for Cancer Research, and I know that if he was here today he’d be taking part and helping out.
“We’re hoping for even bigger and better next year and to beat what we’ve done so far.”
Groups from around the town have held numerous events to boost the Miles for Men coffers including a karaoke night at the Owton Manor Social Club, a scooter rally at The McOrville pub, in Elwick, Movember moustache growers, and numerous raffles.
A kind donator has now given the charity an old Austin Mini, worth around £6,000, to raffle, with the proceeds to be split between Miles for Men and Unicef, when the competition is drawn some time over the next few weeks.
Micheal also wanted to thank his fellow Miles for Men team members Mark Fickling, Anthony Day, Richard Hegarty, Natalie Aston, Jane Fickling and Wayne Butterfield, and the Newcastle and Liverpool arms of the charity, Michael Anderson, Claire Anderson, Leanne Conway-Wilcox, Joanne Makepeace, Graham Foreman, Barry Sewell and Joanne Sewell.
For more information about the charity visit www.milesformen.co.uk.