Steve Cram yesterday hung the first bauble on the 2017 St. Benedict’s Dedication Christmas Tree in the Bridges shopping centre in Sunderland in memory of his aunt, Joy Lynch. The public will be able to make a donation and add their own baubles to the tree in the lead up to Christmas, with all of the money raised going to support the work of St. Benedict’s Hospice in the city. Last year’s tree raised £10,000 for the hospice.
Joy Lynch was a regular volunteer at races organised by Steve Cram’s company, including the Run Sunderland events, where she recruited a team of friends and family to hand out water and cheer on runners on Ryhope Road. She fought a brave battle against cancer, but passed away in October last year. St. Benedict’s Hospice was the official charity partner for the 2017 Siglion Sunderland City Half Marathon and 10K, and will be again in 2018.
Steve Cram comments:
“Aunty Joy was a very special lady and we miss her terribly. It’s been great to make a donation and remember her on the Dedication Tree in the Bridges shopping centre. This is a brilliant way to support the wonderful work done by St. Benedict’s Hospice and I hope that the tree raises a lot of money in the lead up to Christmas.”
Catrina Flynn, head of fundraising at St. Benedict’s Hospice, adds:
“On behalf of St Benedict’s Hospice, I was delighted to welcome Steve to our Dedication Tree and we are grateful to him for coming along to launch our 2017 appeal by putting a dedication on the tree in memory of his late aunt. The Dedication Tree Appeal is one of our most popular fundraising initiatives, but as well as raising funds for the hospice it also offers people the chance to remember someone they have lost at a time of the year which can often be quite difficult. We are so grateful to the Bridges for once again allowing us to be there”.
Samantha Czwordon, marketing and communications manager at the Bridges, comments: “The Bridges is really pleased to host the St. Benedict’s Hospice Dedication Tree. Last year, our really generous visitors took time out of their Christmas shopping to donate a huge amount of money, and I am sure that they will do the same again this time. It’s a lovely, poignant addition to the centre and we were delighted that Steve was able to add the first bauble.”
The Dedication Tree is located near Primark in the Bridges, where shoppers can make a donation to the team of St. Benedict’s volunteers and write out a personal message on a bauble in memory of a loved one, and then hang it on the tree.