Bowling tournament will remember tragic Heather

Heather Baker's family and friends have held an annual 10-pin bowling event since the teenager, pictured, died.

Heather Baker's family and friends have held an annual 10-pin bowling event since the teenager, pictured, died.

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A popular teenager who had her life cut short by leukaemia will be remembered at a charity 10-pin bowling event on Sunday.

Heather Baker, 16, died in October 2009 after an 18-month battle with acute lymphatic lymphoma.

I’m sure it’s going to be a great event, and one where we can all remember Heather

Danielle Gates

An infection led to septicaemia – blood poisoning – which her body was too weak to fight off.

Since her death, Heather’s family and friends have held an annual 10-pin bowling tournament to remember her.

Bowling was one of Heather’s favourite hobbies, and more than £7,000 has been raised for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research in the five stagings of the event so far.

There are hopes that this year’s competition, which will be held at AMF Bowling, in the Galleries Retail Park, Washington, will be the most successful yet.

Danielle Gates, who was a close friend of Heather, said: “This event is always a good way to remember Heather, because she competed in lots of bowling tournaments and loved it.

“We often do a balloon release at the event as well.

“Heather was always the life and soul of the party. She was a lovely, kind and caring girl.

“She showed amazing potential with her 10-pin bowling and had been offered a place in the junior team England academy, but unfortunately she couldn’t attend as she had just been diagnosed with leukaemia.

“She had so many friends and was loved by everyone.”

On this weekend’s event, Danielle added: “We’re aiming for our highest-ever fundraising figure at this year’s tournament.

“Last year, we raised about £1,500, but we’d really like to hit £2,000 this time.

“We raise the money through tournament entries, raffles, tombolas and other things like cake sales.

“We’ve got some really good raffle prizes this year, as Sunderland AFC have donated a signed football, and someone has donated a signed limited edition of former cricketer Shane Warne’s book, which is of his illustrious career.

“I’m sure, as ever, it’s going to be a great event, and one where we can all remember Heather.”

The event is held on the last Sunday of June each year to coincide with the closest Sunday to what would have been Heather’s birthday.

She would have turned 22 this year.

This will be the sixth staging of the all-day competition, and it will start at 9am.