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Members of Leighton Buzzard golf club have donated £28,000 to a locally-based charity which supports families with children diagnosed with a rare life-challenging syndrome.
The money was jointly raised by Immediate Past Captain Graham Freer and Ladies Captain Lesley Bednarek during their terms in office which have just ended, and donated to the trustees of Emily’s Star, a charity based in Westcroft, Milton Keynes.
Formed a decade ago by Kate Mainwaring following the loss of her first child diagnosed at birth with Trisomy 18 (Edwards Syndrome), and supported by fellow trustees Darcy Scott-Hindmarch, Jayne Foster and Jodie Spencer, the charity supports children in Milton Keynes and surrounding areas with complex and life limiting conditions with a range of goods and services; raises awareness and support for children throughout the UK with trisomy 18, and supports neonatal units across the UK and website access help for parents, carers and others with premature and underweight babies with life limiting or life threatening illnesses.
Trisomy 18 is the UK’s second most common syndrome, with the Emily’s Star team providing support for more than 80 families mainly in the Beds & Bucks area, including gift boxes as well as raising awareness of the illness and providing wishes and ways to make memories for children and young adult with the syndrome.
Katie, Jayne and Darcy were presented with the massive cheque by Graham and Lesley at a social function at Leighton Buzzard’s Plantation Road club, with the three charity trustees “reduced to tears” by the “incredible amount the club has raised for us.”
Darcy said: “We were absolutely bowled over to receive a cheque for £28,000; we were speechless and completely surprised by at the incredible amount the club raised for us. The money will enable us to continue supporting our beneficiaries in the area and premature babies across the UK. We cannot thank Graham, Lesley and the club enough.”
The donation to Emily’s Star was money raised at golfing and social events as well as donations from members, guests and visitors to the 600-member club over the past 12 months.
Says now-retired Buckinghamshire fire chief Graham: “The response from Leighton members to the charity appeal has been amazing and game-changing for many families. We thank them all.”
Tim Mitchell, who last week succeeded Graham as Club Captain and Oonagh Russell, who has succeeded Lesley as Ladies Captain, launched their joint fund raising activities to support the Children’s unit at Keech Cottage hospice, with £600 raised at Tim’s  traditional drive-in event.
During their terms in office, Tim and Oonagh will be supported by their respective Vice Captains, Stuart Mills and Barbara Rickard as well as other groups and members of the Leighton club.