Su­per­gran was char­ity cham­pion

Ded­i­cated fund-raiser Eileen Smith dies aged 85

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Opinion - by Mike Ben­nett mben­nett@thek­m­group.co.uk

SHE was known as su­per­gran, won­der­woman and other equally com­pli­men­tary names to mark her ab­so­lute ded­i­ca­tion to fund-rais­ing for a char­ity.

And 85-year-old Eileen Smith, of Gore Hill, Ash­ford, de­served ev­ery word of praise for her ef­forts over a quar­ter of a cen­tury to raise £110,267 for the Kent Autis­tic Trust.

Mrs Smith died peace­fully at the William Har­vey hospi­tal on Sun­day know­ing how much the char­ity that cares for her beloved grand­son David from Willes­bor­ough has been helped by her ef­forts.

That fact was recog­nised four years ago when she was named as an honor- ary life mem­ber of the char­ity.

Her fund-rais­ing be­gan when she started send­ing hand­writ­ten let­ters to well-known peo­ple across the world. The replies from the many film stars and politi­cians who re­sponded were then auc­tioned.

Mrs Smith also found she had a spe­cial knack of per­sua­sion with com­pa­nies, that saw them do­nate hun­dreds of prizes for her an­nual Christ­mas draw. More funds were raised by knit­ting and mak­ing toys.

In mil­len­nium year, af­ter prais­ing her great fund-rais­ing con­tri­bu­tion, the Sorop­ti­mist Club named her Ash­ford Woman of the Year.

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