THERE were more than a million reasons for charity fundraisers to celebrate on Saturday a million and a half, to be exact.

The York Committee of Yorkshire Cancer Research has raised over £1.5 million since its formation at the end of 1973.

A commemorative plaque was presented to the committee at a ball celebrating 75th anniversary of the charity in the Gimcrack Rooms at York Racecourse.

The York committee has raised an average of £50,000 a year since its establishment, through quiz nights, coffee mornings, individual donations and an annual ball, though the main fundraising activity is the popular Yorkshire Cancer Research Christmas card.

In 1985 the committee became the first York charity to design and sell its own cards, featuring easily recognisable local scenes such as the Minster and Museum Gardens, and the charity now sells up to 150,000 cards each year.

"We want to let the people in York know that the money they have given over the years even the little individual donations have all added up to make this staggering amount," said York committee chairman Kathie Brydson.

"Since handing over our first cheque for £3,000 in 1974, the York committee has raised a grand total of £1,537,264.52 through the generosity and support of local people and businesses.

"We're extremely proud of the efforts of our community and hope this contribution can help further its successes."

Elaine King, chief executive of the Yorkshire Cancer Research Committee, said: "Our most sincere thanks go to the York committee for this fantastic contribution. We hope it spurs on the people of Yorkshire to raise even more money to fight cancer."

Yorkshire cancer research raises about £4 million annually to fund cutting edge research in the county.