Cancer charity darts fun day hits the bullseye after raising more than £8,000

Charity darts auction by Mark Cross at GER club March

An annual cancer charity darts fun day hit the bullseye at the weekend when it raised a record £8,200.

It now means the total amount donated to Peterborough City Hospital’s Oncology Department as a result of Mark Cross’s popular event has topped a massive £44,500.

It was standing room only at the GER Club in March as more than 100 people crammed into the venue for the seventh annual fundraiser on Saturday.

They enjoyed a darts contest, tombola, draw and auction, with prizes signed by sporting legends including Michael van Gerwen, Eric Cantana, Sir Ian Botham, Thomas ‘The Hitman’ Hearns, Martin Johnson, Paul Scholes and many more.

“This was the best year so far. The response was amazing,” said Mark, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009.

Since being given the all- clear he has raised money for the hospital to say thanks for saving his life.

Mark kicked off Saturday’s fun day by telling supporters what the monies raised so far had been spent on. It included the purchase of an ultrasound machine for the chemotherapy department, training courses for nurses, an ECG machine and two sky ceilings to give patients a view of the summer sky while lying on their backs for prolonged periods of time during treatment.

It has also helped to fund cancer research at a local level, and the £6,000 raised at last year’s event funded a radiotherapy trials radiographer, so the hospital can improve their recruitment into radiotherapy clinical trials.

Mark, who retired from police force this week after 30 years’ service, said: “I cannot thank all those enough who supported the event and the many people who donated wonderful items on the day.”

He also paid special thanks to his mum and dad, Ann and Dick Cross, and Bill and Margaret Turvey, who worked tirelessly to secure draw prizes, and sold draw tickets throughout the day.

Both couples also recently celebrated their golden wedding anniversaries, and asked for donations to the charity instead of gifts. Ann and Dick raised £755, and Bill and Margaret raised a further £200.

Mark also thanked his nan, Jackie Healey, 92, who donated nearly all the tombola prizes and raised over £300 on the day with help from Shirley Moores, as well as Andrew Youles, Paul Wright, Neil Collins, Craig Gilpatrick, Tony Barnes, Lorraine Barnes and all of the GER committee and bar staff for their continued support.

“I couldn’t do the day without the love and support of my wonderful wife Kim and my sons Ryan and Nathan,” he added.

Thanks were also paid to local businesses who donated prizes including March Quality Meats, Stotts Fish Restaurant, Malletts Jewellers, Cassanos, Storeys Arts and Crafts, Tesco Express, Brian Tweed Family Butchers, Paninis, Boots, Haart Estate Agents, Tesco (Hostmoor store, March) and One Stop (The Causeway, March).

Smurfit Kappa sponsored several auction lots by donating £400, as did Townsend Angling Club who donated £300. Ladies at ‘Fun with Flowers’ at March Conservative Club also donated £170 to the cause.

The darts winners were:

Cricket triples: Bob Foster, Kevin Cooper and Lewis Day. Pairs: Terry Redhead and Kevin Hill. Youth singles champion: Liam Moore. Singles champion: Robert Doncaster.

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