Apollo Festival boost for Smiley Riley fund

Simone Potter, left, and Stuart Kelly, right, organiser of the Apollo Festival with, from left, Kevin Johnson (manager York Sports Club) Liam Plant, Carly Collins and Sally Kelly holding her daughter, Molly

Riley Plant who died at 21 months after battling a rare brain cancer

First published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by , mark.stead@thepress.co.uk

THE courage of a young brain tumour victim from York and the fundraising work in his memory will be at the heart of a family music festival this summer.

Organisers of the Apollo Festival, which launched last year, have chosen the Smiley Riley Fund – which helps pay living and travel costs for parents and carers whose children are undergoing chemotherapy – as the charity they will support during a day of music and entertainment in the grounds of York Sports Club on June 21.

The fund was formed in memory of Riley Plant, from Burnholme, who died in September 2012 aged 21 months after battling a rare and incurable brain tumour. It has raised more than £72,000 and its founder, Riley’s grandmother Simone Potter, said: “We went to last year’s festival to have a look around and it was a great day, with even more planned for this year.

“We will be working with organisers in the build-up and will be there on the day with the Smiley Riley gazebo – we’re over the moon about it. It’s amazing that so many people tell us Smiley Riley was the first charity which came into their heads to help.

“It’s great that it has made such an impact and that people remember Riley’s story – we are doing this as his legacy.”

The Clifton Park festival will have three stages where Yorkshire acts such as Boss Caine, Pelico, The Entertainment Company and Redstar will perform, as well as a kids’ quarter, funfair, open-air theatre, stalls and refreshments. Tickets cost £7 plus booking fee until the end of February, when an “early bird” price offers ends, with more information at apollofestival.co.uk?

“At the beginning of each year, we sit down and talk about who we think we should help, and this year it was very simple,” said Apollo organiser Stuart Kelly.

“Smiley Riley is run by passionate and committed people whose aim is to help children enjoy their lives and forget their problems while creating a lifelong legacy for Riley. They should be proud of what they have achieved and be happy knowing they have put smiles on the faces of children and their parents, and we are proud to be working with them.”

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