SANTAS JINGLE ALL THE WAY IN DASH
Hundreds of Santas in all shapes and sizes take part in dash
A 600-STRONG sea of Santas on two and four legs raised £20,000 for a hospice by taking part in a dash.
Families, colleagues, ‘jingle dogs’ and friends turned out en masse to kick start their Christmas on Sunday at The Hospice of St Francis’ eighth annual Santa Dash in Hemel Hempstead.
Teams from all over Bucks and Herts took part, sprinting, scooting and strolling the 2.5-mile course, but the biggest team of the day was from Bovingdon Primary Academy, led by 10-yearold pupil and school sports ambassador Sam Morley, whose mum Liz, and granddad Michael Beever, were both cared for by the hospice, before they died in April 2012 and September 2014 respectively.
Sam, from Shothanger Way, Bovingdon, said: “It was really good fun and a brilliant atmosphere. I wanted to help the hospice because they’ve helped us and I thought it would be really good to get a lot of people from my school involved.”
Eight-year-old twins William and Oscar Dawson, from Chesham Road, Ashley Green, were part of the school team – dashing for the first time with their accountant mum Cathy.
Cathy, 49, said: “We knew Sam Butler, who spent her final weeks at the hospice and the whole event just looked like enormous fun and a very good way of raising funds for a great cause.
“The boys had a whale of a time. We ran the whole way round and they ran with their friends. They enjoyed the mince pies afterwards and wore their Santa outfits for the rest of the day!”
Sprinters set off first, scooters and bikes followed, and strollers, buggies and wheelchairs brought up the rear. Canine companions were out in force too, wearing Santa coats, seasonal ruffles or a touch of tinsel.
Husky dogs Alfie and Yukon really looked the part as they pulled round their owner Nigel Brand, from The Chase, Chesham, and fellow Cheshamite Charlotte Norris, 38, from Broadlands Avenue.
Mrs Norris said: “It was such good fun and a brilliant atmosphere. Just being one of hundreds of Santas dashing around Hemel in their Santa outfits, raising money for such an amazing local cause was fantastic.
“Doing the Santa Dash is a reminder of how precious life is. Just by giving up a small amount of your time and donating what you can afford goes a long way to helping families who are going through a much tougher time than you, especially at Christmas.”
Events fundraiser at the hospice Nicky Maxwell-Braithwaite said: “We’re so grateful for the amazing support we’ve received.
“We couldn’t have done it without you!”
Ready, steady, ho: Hundreds took part in the eighth annual Santa Dash