A MAJOR fundraiser involving hundreds of men has helped raise a mammoth £40,000 for cancer research.
This summer’s Miles for Men event in Hartlepool saw men of all ages run, walk or jog a three-mile route with all proceeds going to the national cancer charity, Cancer Research UK.
Around 1,000 men took part and the final sum of £40,106.69 has just been announced, smashing the original target of £7,000.
Organisers say they have been left overwhelmed and have thanked people for their generosity.
Meanwhile, bosses at the national charity have been so impressed with the innovative fundraising scheme that it could be rolled out to other areas in future.
Miles for Men was the brainchild of Hartlepool dad-of-three Michael Day in memory of his dad Michael Senior, who died after a battle with throat cancer.
It was hailed a huge success and organisers have spent the last couple of months collecting the money in.
Michael, 39, of Innes Road, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have raised such a huge amount.
“When we set out the target was £7,000 and Cancer Research UK told us that new fundraisers often raise about £5,000 to start with.
“So to raise £40,000 is fantastic.
“We have been really overwhelmed by the public response and we are just really thankful for their support.
“This has really helped put Hartlepool on the map for all the right reasons.”
Plans are already in place to make it an annual event and organisers hope to hold it on the last weekend in July next year.
Miles for Men saw men and children of all ages whose lives had been touched by the disease walk, run or jog the three-mile route from Maritime Avenue, in Hartlepool, to Seaton Carew Cricket Club.
They were enthusiastically cheered on by their wives, family and passers-by and some taking part were even in the middle of their own battles with cancer.
A number of companies helped sponsor the event and made donations including Niramax, Ableclean, Streamline Taxis, Roof-a-fix, Acorn Landscapes and Teesside Audi.
Although the original idea was Michael’s he said it has been a real team effort involving a number of people including Richy Heggarty, Jane Sickling, Mark Sickling, Anthony Day, Natalie Aston and Wayne Butterfield.
Michael added: “I would like to thank everybody that has helped.”
Abby Christie, area volunteer manager at Cancer Research UK, said: “I’d like to thank Miles for Men and those who took part for raising such an amazing amount of money for Cancer Research UK.
“The Miles for Men team have been fantastic to work with and are a real inspiration to us all.
“They’ve been such a dedicated and motivated team and I’m delighted that they’ve now formed a fundraising group for Cancer Research UK which means their support will continue over the years, helping us bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.“