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Thousands raised in memory of Helen Straker

Two charities close to the heart of dedicated fundraiser Helen Straker have received a total of £55,000 in her memory.

Her husband estate agent and hotelier Gordon Straker presented cheques for £27,500 to both Dorothy House and The Forever Friends appeal towards the build of a new cancer unit at the Royal United Hospital, Bath at a ceremony at The Bear Hotel, Devizes.

He said: “I hope Helen would have pleased that we have continued with the fundraising. She did so much herself. I would like to thank everyone who supported our events.

“We have already started planning for next year and there will be an Elvis night in March and a ball in Bath in October.”

Mrs Straker died of cancer in September, 2013, aged 62 and was diagnosed in 2000. In the weeks leading up to her death she was organising a dinner for the same two charities. Her husband has taken over the fundraising baton and was pleased with the amount raised over the year. Fundraising events included a clay pigeon shoot, a golf day and a sponsored walk.

Over the years the couple raised huge amounts for charity and even hosted a cookery demonstration by Mary Berry in 2009 – the year before she found star status in the Great British Bake Off. Mrs Straker was also a Lady Lion but avoided the spotlight. With the constant support of her husband, Gordon, her friends and business associates, she was a tireless fundraiser and had tremendous enthusiasm and friendliness for everything she did. – Helen had a special blend of courage, fortitude and warmth.”

After her death her family spoke of the legacy she had left and this was continued last week with the presentation of the cheques by Mr Straker and trustees of the Helen Straker Charity Andrew Fleming, Nick Cordel, Neil Cowley and Steve Harbour.

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