A CHARITY champion is getting saddled up for an emotional bike ride through Beijing – all in memory of her beloved mum.
Amy Clarke has been fundraising for months to reach her £3,200 target needed to tackle the two-wheeled trek through the Chinese city in September, and is quickly closing in on the grand total.
The 39-year-old was determined to take part in the Chinese challenge, in aid of a trio of cancer charities, after her mum, Margaret Pentland, lost her battle with ovarian cancer in October 2012.
Money-making schemes have included a 24-hour static bike ride, a ladies’ pampering night while sporting onesies, and a Calendar Girls-style photoshoot.
The mum-of-three has now collected nearly £3,000 and is hoping to get over the line with a masquerade ball at The Roker Hotel in Sunderland, starting at 7pm on March 1.
Of the £3,200 needed, half will go on flights and accommodation in the Far East – with the rest boosting Breast Cancer Care, Ovarian Cancer Action and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust.
Every extra penny and pound over the £3,200 haul will go straight to the three good causes.
Mrs Clarke will be travelling to the North East for the glitzy affair – having recently moved from Lawe Road in South Shields to Edinburgh with her family.
Mrs Clarke said: “I am hosting a Masquerade Ball at The Roker Hotel on March 1.
“Tickets are £30 each, which includes live entertainment, a fourcourse meal and champagne on arrival.
“Plus there will be fire-eaters, stilt walkers, a caracuturist and photographers.
“The night will go on from 7am to 1am. I have already raised about £2,900 for the trip.
“It would be great to get to the £3,200 target, so we can raise more money for the charities.
“The charity calendar that we did has already sold around 180 copies, bringing in £600.
“It’s been really, really good.”
Mrs Clarke is grateful for the generous support of residents across the borough, as she embarks on a final push to book her Chinese charity challenge.
Her mum died at just 63, after an 18-month battle with ovarian cancer, but her daughter is determined that she will not be forgotten.
She added: “She was an amazing, strong woman and at 63 lost her fight with ovarian cancer, leaving behind four children and eight grandchildren.
“She touched so many lives. She was respected and loved by so many people, and every person she met was left with a lasting loving memory.”
The Women v Cancer cycle ride is a 450km trek across the Beijing province of China, taking in the spectacular Great Wall, Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square.
You can support Mrs Clarke’s charity bid by visiting www.justgiving.com/Margaretpentland.
For tickets for the masquerade ball, contact Mrs Clarke on 0788 948 2997