Sunderland hospice appeal will soar

HIGH EXPECTATIONS: Community fund-raiser Michele Keeler with Karen Maclennan and Richard Harrison, from Grace House, photographer Brian Hurst and Amanda Surtees from Graceful Cakes.
HIGH EXPECTATIONS: Community fund-raiser Michele Keeler with Karen Maclennan and Richard Harrison, from Grace House, photographer Brian Hurst and Amanda Surtees from Graceful Cakes.
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SUNDERLAND’S Grace House Children’s Hospice Appeal takes to the skies this weekend.

The charity is holding a twinkling balloon release as part of its annual Celebration of Life event at the Rainton Meadows Arena on Sunday.

People can dedicate a balloon to celebrate the life and love of those dear to them.

Senior fund-raiser Karen Maclennan, of the Grace House Appeal, said: “You can dedicate a ruby red, emerald green or snowflake white balloon to symbolise the life, love, friendship and support of someone special.”

The event will raise vital funds for Grace House children’s hospice, which is being built in Southwick, Sunderland, for youngsters from across the North East.

This year’s Celebration of Life will include a Christmas market, organised by Denise Hurst, who works for Barclays Bank.

The bank will match funds raised from the event, up to £750, as part of its Community Investment Charity Begins At Work programme.

The market will be open from 3pm on Sunday.

“The stalls will stay open after the release of the balloons at 7pm so there will be plenty of opportunity to buy those last minute gifts or indulge in cupcakes,” said Denise.

The Celebration of Life Concert will start at 6pm, featuring the Millfield Salvation Army, East Herrington Primary School Choir, local singer Anthony Stringer and the Rock Choir, with the balloons released at 7pm.

Anyone wishing to take part in the event can contact Grace House on 516 6302.

The Grace House hospice will help children across the region who have life-threatening and life-limiting conditions.

Building work is scheduled to be finished by May 2012, with equipping and staffing to follow.

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