This week the Helen Straker Charity announces it has raised an astonishing £80,000 during 2016 in aid of two charities, The Forever Friends Appeal and Dorothy House Hospice Care. Both charities were favourites of Helen Straker, late wife of Gordon Straker, an active fundraiser throughout her life and each received £40,000 at a recent cheque presentation held at The Bear Hotel in Devizes.
This year’s fundraising total by the Helen Straker Charity is an incredible £25,000 above last years total of £55,000 and was raised across the year at a number of events including a golf day and their inaugural Autumn Charity Ball. The Ball was held on 15th October at the Assembly Rooms in Bath and was a great success with over 220 guests attending from local companies such as Wadworth & Co, Qdos Homes, MJ Church, Royds Withy King, Bath Rugby, Strakers Estate Agents and others.
An auction was the highlight of the evening and was hosted by Andrew Fleming, a Trustee of the Helen Straker Charity. The auction lots were incredibly generous and featured a weekend charter for ten people on a luxury yacht in Mallorca, a two night stay in Copenhagen, a helicopter flight and stay at Calcot Manor Hotel and a lavish lunch on a 1920’s Belmond British Pullman train. Other lots that got everyone bidding were golf days, rugby and football tickets, a shooting party for six and a cricket bat signed by the 2015 England test team who played in the Ashes against Australia.
Helen Straker was a determined fundraiser for both Dorothy House Hospice and the new Cancer Centre to be built at Bath RUH. After Helen lost her brave fight against cancer in 2013, her husband Gordon Straker continued her impressive fundraising efforts and The Helen Straker Charity was officially registered in 2014. The charity now organise a variety of fundraising events each year including golf days, clay pigeon shoots, dinners, balls and comedy nights.
Gordon Straker, Trustee of the Helen Straker Charity said: “We are proud to have raised so much money for Helen’s two chosen charities this year, her aim in life was always to help others so it is wonderful to be continuing her legacy. Thank you to all the sponsors who supported the charity this year and to everyone who helped us exceed last years total by £25,000. It’s a great achievement so well done to all involved.”
Jan Witt, In Memory & Legacy Officer, The Forever Friends Appeal said: “We were given such a lovely surprise with the generous cheque presented to us by the Trustees of the Helen Straker Charity towards the RUH Cancer Care Campaign. Raising such a large sum of money over the year through fundraising events is only possible by sheer hard work, dedication and the commitment of the trustees, together with their family, friends and colleagues that have kindly supported them time and time again. We are truly grateful to everyone for their continued support towards the RUH to help transform care for patients and their families for the future.
Phillippa Watson, Head of Fundraising at Dorothy House Hospice Care said: “We are so grateful for the hard work and fundraising efforts of Gordon Straker and the charity Trustees this year. Dorothy House cared for Helen during her 13 year battle with cancer and we’re proud to be a beneficiary of the Helen Straker Charity. Congratulations to the charity for raising such a lot of funds in 2016, it is much appreciated during our 40th birthday year and will help Dorothy House continue to provide specialist care for people living with a life-limiting illness.”