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Charity birthday party to aid St Leonard’s Hospice
Derek Wilkinson with two of the football shirts, a signed Leeds Utd and Manchester City shirt, which he is auctioning to raise money for St Leonards Hospice, in memory of his mother Christine
A YORK hairdresser is hoping to mark a milestone birthday by raising thousands of pounds for St Leonard’s Hospice in memory of his mother.
Football stars are among those who have already signed up to the charity event, being staged by Derek Wilkinson to celebrate his 50th birthday.
Items which will be auctioned at a party on Friday include soccer shirts autographed by Manchester City and Leeds United players.
Money raised will go towards the hospice, which Derek decided to support in memory of his “bubbly and popular” mother, Christine.
Mrs Wilkinson, 72, was diagnosed with lung cancer on New Year’s Eve. The disease rapidly took hold and although she was due to receive palliative care at the hospice, she died on February 4 before she could go there.
Derek, managing director of CUBE hairdressers, said: “It was all very quick. However, she remained her usual positive and upbeat self and insisted she would make my party in July. Sadly, she was unable to beat the disease. It was her wish to go to St Leonard’s Hospice, but she did not get a chance to get that far.”
The charity and birthday night will be headlined by York party band Huge.
Derek wants to ask those attending to bid for auction items and buy goods for a Tree Of Life instead of giving him presents.
He has won support from more than 60 local businesses who have donated to the cause.
Each of the 110 people due to attend the private party will be encouraged to buy a £25 envelope containing a prize from the Tree Of Life – all of which contain a gift worth £25 or more that has been donated.
Derek said: “I am absolutely overwhelmed by the support from everyone involved so far, from the fundraising team to St Leonard’,s to all friends and businesses who are supporting the event.”
He said he hoped to raise more than £3,000 for the cause.
“I doubt there are many families who have not been affected by this terrible disease and St Leonard’s is a superb facility for the community of York.”
To donate towards the cause, visit justgiving.com/Derek-wilkinson