Sunderland casino staff raise £12,000 in memory of lost colleagues

Fundraising manager for Macmillan Cancer Support, Jane Curry receives a cheque for �12,000 from staff at Gala Casino, Stephen Cummings, Mark Holmes and Inga Narussviciute.
Fundraising manager for Macmillan Cancer Support, Jane Curry receives a cheque for �12,000 from staff at Gala Casino, Stephen Cummings, Mark Holmes and Inga Narussviciute.
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CASINO staff have chipped in to help raise £12,000 for charity in memory of two much-missed colleagues.

Workers at Gala Casino in Sunniside Leisure Complex in Sunderland city centre, were left devastated when Rob Hunter and Dorothy Foster died within weeks of each other last year.

Both died suddenly after being diagnosed with cancer.

To honour the pair, colleagues threw themselves into fund-raising events, such as sponsored runs and bag packing sessions to generate £12,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Customers were also invited to leave donations.

Stephen Cummings, administrator at the casino, said the deaths of Rob and Dorothy had left staff deeply saddened.

Rob, a maintenance engineer, lost his battle with liver cancer in October 2012, just weeks after being diagnosed.

Dorothy, who was a member of the management at Gala, died after suffering from multiple cancers shortly after.

“It’s hit people who work here really hard, and they have found it difficult to come to terms with,” said Mr Cummings.

“Both Rob and Dorothy were popular members of the team.

“Being an engineer, Rob was behind the scenes a lot.

“And Dorothy was like everybody’s nana. She always had time for a chat with anyone, and that’s why there were a lot of staff and customers at her funeral.”

The money has been passed on to Macmillan, whose nurses and therapists help those suffering from cancer in their day-to-day lives.

The workers were spurred on by the fact that Pat Summerside, who works at the casino, is battling cancer herself.

“We’re very pleased with the total, and I know the families of Rob and Dorothy are happy with what we have done,” added Mr Cummings.

“But we’ve got to say a big thank you to the customers too, because they have probably put in about 70 per cent of the donation.”

Jane Curry, fund-raising manager for Macmillan Cancer Support in Sunderland, said: “We really appreciate the donation from the staff and customers at Gala Casino.

“The money will go towards funding further services in the local area.

“Without the help and support of the public this would not be possible.”