Race night is a winning bet

A HALLOWE'EN fund-raiser has helped boost the Echo's Launch a Lifesaver appeal.

Sunderland Greyhound Stadium, in Newcastle Road, organised the event to support our drive to raise 10,000 for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) to put seven volunteers through 12 months' operational training.

Partygoers travelled from across the North East to enjoy the night of fancy dress, music and racing, with one trophy named the Charlotte Stewart Memorial in memory of the former president of the Sunderland Lifeboat Guild, who died earlier this year.

Paul Nicholson, senior RNLI helmsman at Sunderland, said: "The night was a great success both in terms of money raised for our charity and people enjoying the night.

"We are all extremely grateful to the management and staff of the track who pulled out all of the stops to make the night a great success.

"The money raised will cover the training costs of one of our volunteer crew for about seven months.

"This training will allow them to do the job that they volunteered to do, which is saving lives at sea."

Simon Fozzard, from Sunderland Greyhound Stadium, also hailed the fund-raiser a huge success.

"The night went really well," he said. "The stadium raised 561 and, with the raffle the RNLI ran, we made a total of 700."

Meanwhile, fund-raisers are continuing to come onboard the Launch a Lifesaver appeal.

Staff and pupils at Hetton School have pledged to make a donation from an annual fund-raising day this month.

Peter Howey, assistant headteacher at the school, said: "We're holding a non-uniform day for Children in Need. Every year the money raised is split between Children In Need, our own senior citizens and another charity.

"This year we decided to raise money for the RNLI and, with the Echo running its campaign, we thought it would be a nice idea to tie it in with that."

Maureen Atkinson and Shirley Jackson also helped organise a series of raffles which raised 275 for the campaign.

The pair held the three fund-raisers at the regular Saturday Night Dancers event, which meet at Hylton Castle Workingmen's Club.

"The RNLI do an amazing job," said Ms Atkinson. "We want to thank everyone who donated prizes for the raffle and bought a ticket. They were all very generous."

The appeal has now topped the 9,000 mark, but the Echo is continuing to promote fund-raising events and urge people to donate to the fund.

Send cheques to Sunderland Echo Launch a Lifesaver appeal, c/o James Johnston, Sunderland Echo, Echo House, Pennywell, Sunderland SR4 9ER.

Also, fund-raisers can publicise events in aid of the RNLI in the Echo by emailing details to james.johnston@northeast-press.co.uk