GOOD causes stepped into the limelight at the annual presentation evening hosted by the Rotary Club of Mar Dyke Valley when more than £15,000 was distributed after being raised at this year’s event.Last June around 400 cyclists took part in the annual marathon organised by the club, which starts and finishes at the Civic Hall in Blackshots, Thurrock.The event features individuals and teams cycling to raise money for a wide variety of charities, with proceeds from organising the event being distributed as a top up’ to donations by the Rotary Club.The presentation evening was hosted by club President Steve Walker who welcomed guests including Thurrock Mayor Cllr Cathy Kent, who received a cheque for £500 for her charities.Rtn Walker also thanked the many organisation who supported the event including Costco, the Whitmore Arms, Port of Tilbury, Industrial Friction Services, Decathlon. St John Ambulance, Lehrian Transport, South Eastern CVR Ltd, the Mayor’s office staff and Thurrock Police. He also paid tribute to the “unstinting work of Rotarians and their families.Essex Air Ambulance and Great Ormond Street Hospital were the two charities designated by the Rotary Club as beneficiaries of the event and they too received £500 each and cheques were presented on their behalf by Rtn Walker Rotarian Russell Keegan to Claire Keegan and Lisa Walker.Rtn Paul Havis presented a cheque for £2,300 to Peter Hacking representing the RNLI and paid tribute to the fundraising efforts of local councillor and Rotarian Gerard Rice who again took part in the cycle ride on behalf of the Institute’s Thurrock fundraising branch.Ockendon Scouts have been longstanding supporters of the cycle ride and other Mar Dyke Club events and Rtn Bill Brown presented Ian Albright with £520. Ian told the audience all the scouts “thoroughly enjoy all they do with the Rotary Club. He added:”It’s not all about the money for the kids, it’s the fun they have doing the events like the cycle marathon and joining your members on the Santa Sleigh. The leading individual fundraising group at this year’s event were the family and friends of Thurrock man David Clay, who lost his life aged just 43 in April from the skin cancer Melanoma. David’s parents Roger and Olive attended the presentation and handed over a cheque Alicia Irvine of Melanoma Support and Alicia also received the trophy for the largest fundraising group from Rtn Walker.Another group who take part annually are staff and customers at the Classic Hair Company in Tilbury and they once again delivered for their chosen charities, Havens Hospice and St Luke’s Hospice. Beverley Sanderson and her daughter Katie represented the Classic crew’ and handed over cheques totalling £1,720.As has been the case for several years, the marathon’s top individual fundraiser was Stan Wall. A sprightly 89-year-old Stan once again rode for Help For Heroes and his efforts have resulted in a £3,450 donation to the charity, adding to the tens of thousands he has raised in previous rides over the past two decades.The final presentation of the evening was the Thurrock Paralympian Gemma Prescott The 33-year-old who lives with Cerebral Palsy competed in her third Paralympics in Rio in the summer in throwing events and won a bronze medal in the club throw, flinging it20.50m for 1015 points, a British and European record, taking the bronze medal.Gemma’s third for competition remains strong and she is already targeting a fourth Paralympics in Tokyo in 2020 and the Mar Dyke Club have donated £250 towards her training expenses.The Rotary Club of Mar Dyke Valley’s next fundraising event is a quiz night at the Cross Keys, Chadwell St Mary, on Friday, 21 October and the Santa Sleigh will once again hit Thurrock’s streets in early December.
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