Armed forces charity suits players to a tee

A memorial golf day raised �12,000 for Help for Heroes''Steve Mackings fifth from left, Rod Jackson third from right
A memorial golf day raised �12,000 for Help for Heroes''Steve Mackings fifth from left, Rod Jackson third from right
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A MEMORIAL golf day raised £12,000 for an armed services charity.

The event, at Whitburn Golf Club, was organised in memory of Gary Thompson, who tragically died eight years ago.

Since then his friends, including Steve Mackings and Rod Jackson, have organised the golf day to benefit charity Help for Heroes, which was created to help those injured in recent conflicts.

Mr Mackings, 52, from Whitburn, was one of the main organisers of the event.

He said: “My son, Tom is in the bomb disposal unit of the Royal Engineers so it’s something that’s close to my heart and to a lot of people’s.

“After Gary passed away we wanted to do something in his memory so there’s about 10 of us who get together every year to organise the golf day and we get a lot of people coming along to play.”

The 72-strong group raised money by imposing fines on each other for things like swearing, taking a huff, and forgetting to wear their Help for Heroes pin badges.

Then they rounded off the event with a fund-raising night at The Grey Horse pub in Mill Lane, Whitburn.

The event, on Saturday, November 12, included an auction and raffle, and it helped bring the lads’ total to more than £12,000.

Among the items auctioned were signed golf memorabilia, overnight stays at the Crab and Lobster Hotel and Restaurant in North Yorkshire, and golfing equipment.

Mr Macking added: “The auction was fantastic. It raised over £5,000 alone, and all the local businesses were really generous when we told them what we were doing, and we got some great raffle prizes and things to auction.

“We’re all absolutely buzzing about the money.

“Last year we raised £7,000, so to outdo that by so much this year is amazing.

“Barclays bank gave us £3,000 towards to total as well to bring it up to £12,000 and we’ve still got money coming in. We’re all really pleased.”

Twitter: @Sunderlandecho