A cancer charity is staging its annual festive fundraiser in memory of its own “Father Christmas.”
Fuel the Sleigh is the Christmas gift campaign for the Huddersfield-based Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust (LCYCT) and aims to provide gifts for young cancer patients in hospital at Christmas by collecting donations and gifts.
This year’s campaign is in memory of Clinton Stringer, the charity’s “treasured and very much missed Father Christmas” who volunteered for the LCYCT for a number of years and was instrumental in promoting the gift campaign and collecting hundreds and hundreds of selection boxes, which he donated to the LCYCT gift campaign as well as many other charities and community groups in the town.
Sadly, Clinton, who was co-managing director of the Kirklees Construction Skills Academy (KCSA) at Milnsbridge, lost his battle with lung cancer in July this year and the 2017 campaign has been dedicated to him.
Clinton and the team at KCSA College are also finalists in this Community Award category at the Examiner Business Awards, which will be held on Thursday (Nov 2) at the John Smith’s Stadium.
About 500 young people aged 13 to 24 will spend Christmas in hospital this year. The LCYCT aims to deliver gifts to the 45 hospitals throughout the UK and Ireland that take care of young cancer patients to make sure each one receives something special.
Young cancer patients across Kirklees are admitted to Leeds General Infirmary or St James Hospital in Leeds, both of which are supported by LCYCT.
Trust manager Pam Thornes said: “This is the eleventh year the charity has run its Christmas gift campaign and it is an emotional rollercoaster because of the kindness and generosity demonstrated by members of the public for the appeal, teamed with the knowledge that many of these young patients are in the fight for their lives.
“This year’s campaign is especially emotional because it is dedicated to our dear friend and supporter Clinton Stringer.”
The charity will be fundraising and holding events in the run-up to Christmas as well as collecting gifts from shoppers at supermarkets. Fundraising events in Huddersfield will include The Big Festive Tasting and Sheep Racing, with the woolly competitors decked out in reindeer clothing.
Financial donations can be made by texting FUEL45 followed by the amount you wish to donate to 70070. A list of drop-off points for people wanting to donate a gift can be found at www.lauracranetrust.org/fuel45
Organisations or individuals are also asked to add a special gift tag to their Christmas tree to represent a gift for a young patient or take part in Tinsel Tuesday by wearing fancy dress on any Tuesday in December, making a donation and posting their festive fancy dress pictures using the hashtag #FuelTheSleigh.