Almost £2,000 was raised for a brave toddler fighting cancer at a charity night held at South Shields Football Club at the weekend.
The event, which was attended by Mariners players – including former Sunderland and Middlesbrough midfielder Julio Arca – raised £1,808 for the ‘Caring For Kian’ campaign.
I was overwhelmed by the response we hadKayleigh Gray
The fundraising drive is in aid of three-year-old Kian Musgrave, whose family have been raising funds to take him to America to get treatment for neuroblastoma.
Although an initial £500,000 target was hit, funds are continuing to be raised for the family’s accommodation and extra medical costs. As part of that, the football club allowed event organiser Kayleigh Gray to use the facilities at its Mariners Park ground for free.
Funds were raised through ticket sales, an auction and a raffle, while money was also donated by Shields players.
Among the raffle and auction prizes were a signed Sunderland strip, signed South Shields shirt and a football signed by the Mariners players. The club also offered four season tickets and hospitality packages as raffle prizes.
Singer Dean Palmer performed, as did DJ Rob. Also there were the Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside, Coun Richard Porthouse and Patricia Porthouse.
Miss Gray said: “It was a brilliant night. Colin Docherty, the South Shields commercial manager, was brilliant helping me, and deserves a lot of credit.
“I was also chuffed that a few of the players made the effort to come up, especially as they had a game down at Thornaby earlier in the day.
“I was overwhelmed by the response we had.”