Sunderland Santas go the extra mile

Santas are on their marks
Santas are on their marks
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A FESTIVE charity run has raised a ho-ho whole lot of cash for a children’s hospice.

George Nicholson urged runners to don Santa suits for a fun run in aid of terminally-ill youngsters.

The 62-year-old organised the event at the Silksworth Sports Complex to raise money for the Acorns Children’s Hospice.

The charity helped care for his granddaughter, Emily Hart, who died from genetic disorder metachromatic leukodystrophy four years ago, shortly before her sixth birthday.

George, of Durham City, joined dozens of runners who completed the three-mile course shortly before Christmas.  

Despite the event being initially called off at the last minute because of icy conditions, it was re-arranged for a later date and hailed a “massive success” by organisers after it raised £350.

“We were able to run the actual race at the second time of asking a week later, despite the sub-zero overnight temperatures, although as a precaution we did change the course slightly to avoid some of the more severe patches of ice,” said George. “A total of 49 runners turned out and Liam Taylor was the winner in 17 mins 26 secs.

“I want to thank Sam Brown for helping me organise the event.

“She is a wonderful girl and has worked so hard to get it all off the ground.

“In particular, it was her idea to have the Santa Run and her wish for the donations to go to my charity.

“She designed the posters and leaflets and made many other arrangements.”

Lucy Shepherd, Treks and Challenges Officer at Acorns Children’s Hospice, in Birmingham, today paid tribute to the fund-raisers.

“On behalf of the children and young people who come to Acorns Children’s Hospice, I would like to thank George, Sam and all the runners and volunteers, for making the Sunderland Park run for Acorns such a success,” she said.

“It’s fantastic that despite the bad weather you were able to go ahead with the event and raise a fantastic £350.00.

“Such fantastic fund-raising efforts are essential to Acorns Children’s Hospice in meeting the cost of care for nearly 600 local life-limited children and families and helps us with our goal to reach the many more who need our help.”