Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Santas Galore! Spreading Festive Cheer for Charity

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Santas Galore! Spreading Festive Cheer for Charity

Article excerpt

Byline: SARAH JUDD

A SEA of Santas worked some Christmas magic across Teesside, running and biking for charity and spreading festive cheer throughout Stockton, Middlesbrough and Redcar.

Boundary 500 organiser Brian Laverick was one of the Santas who came to town to raise pounds 24,000 for Zoe's Place Baby Hospice, with a sponsored bike ride from Thornaby Fire Station to Middlesbrough, before putting the red in Redcar on the third leg of the journey.

While more than 150 Santas swapped traditional reindeer for Harleys and Hondas, and others followed on an open top double decker bus, another 100 or more took part in the weekly Albert Park run dressed as Santa, raising even more funds for Zoe's Place.

Fly Me To The Moon Boro fanzine editor and runner Rob Nichols announced a series of recent events by the amateur athletes would soon top the pounds 1,000 mark.

Meanwhile, Brian Laverick, a former police sergeant, of Ingleby Barwick, and organiser of the Boundary 500, said about 150 motorcycling Santas took part in Saturday's event, despite more than 50 others being unable to make it from Richmond and Northumberland due to snow.

"It is still a fantastic turnout," he said. "The weather is so critical to fundraising and the hospice is really down on funding with many events being cancelled."

Last year, the Boundary 500 Motorcycle Group, which is dedicated to raising money to secure the financial future of their two nominated charities, The Great North Air Ambulance and Zoe's Place Baby Hospice, was forced to cancel its Santa ride until February due to the bad weather.

But despite that setback, Brian reported the Boundary 500 have raised more than pounds 310,000 for their two chosen charities in four-and-a-half years.

He said: "For me, this kick-starts Christmas.

It's all about positive attitudes and people enjoying themselves. …

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