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A very special fundraiser

PUBLISHED: 14:22 31 January 2017 | UPDATED: 14:22 31 January 2017

Andy Cooper is appealing for support for two very special fund-raising events

Andy Cooper is appealing for support for two very special fund-raising events

Matt Austin

Devon Life Editor ANDY COOPER is appealing for support for two special fund-raising events he is holding in memory of his partner, who died last year

Andy's partner Zena O’Rourke died aged 53 in June of last year after suffering from bowel cancerAndy's partner Zena O’Rourke died aged 53 in June of last year after suffering from bowel cancer

Zena O’Rourke died aged 53 in June of last year after suffering from bowel cancer, and now Andy has pledged to honour her memory by organising two events in aid of charity in April this year.

Firstly, Andy and a number of his friends and family have agreed to run the Taunton Half Marathon on the morning of Sunday, 2 April to raise funds for Bowel Cancer UK and St Margaret’s Hospice in Taunton, where Zena passed away.

Then later that evening a special community fund-raising dinner is to be held in Andy’s home village of Holcombe Rogus to raise funds for Andy’s charities and also village hall funds.

Well-known chef, presenter, writer and Devon Life columnist, Tim MaddamsWell-known chef, presenter, writer and Devon Life columnist, Tim Maddams

Tim Maddams, well-known chef, presenter, writer and Devon Life columnist, has agreed to cook a special meal that evening to help raise funds in memory of Zena.

Andy explains: “Nothing can take away the pain and sense of loss at losing Zena, but I was determined to try and do something positive in her memory and make a practical difference to other people’s lives as a result of her death.

“Zena was a keen runner and often competed in the Taunton Half Marathon and so it seemed a great idea to do the run in her honour. Seven of her friends and family have pledged to join me and we are heavily into training to make this happen.

“I knew we would have a lot of community support for our run and so it seemed a good idea to all gather that evening and raise some more funds for the causes. I am indebted to Tim Maddams for proving so generous with his time and his support and we look to have created a really special event.”

Andy is now asking for support for his efforts in two ways. Firstly, he is appealing for sponsors for his half marathon run and pledges can be made at a special website he has set up: http://tinyurl.com/jh2mrnp

Also, 120 tickets are now on sale for the fund-raising dinner and Andy is asking for people to snap them up to ensure the evening is a success. If people cannot make the event itself then Andy is hoping supporters might donate raffle prizes to back the effort.

Tim Maddams has drawn up the following special menu for the meal, which is on Sunday, 2 April, 7pm for 7.30pm, at Holcombe Rogus village hall:

Table breads - Home made focaccia, rape seed oil; Starter - wild garlic and root vegetable pottage, nettle and mint pesto; Main course - slow roast organic mutton, barley, kale, smoked rare roasted loin, roasting juices; Dessert - rhubarb upside down cake, honey and raw milk custard. (Vegetarian and vegan options are available: please state when booking)

Tickets cost £25 per person and diners are being asked to bring their own drinks for the evening. Raffle tickets are being sold and there will also be lucky ‘spot’ prizes on offer for diners throughout the evening.

Ticket sales are being handled by Holcombe Rogus village hall committee member Rita Bunyard, who can be contacted on (01823) 673028 or via e-mail at: reetbun1@gmail.com

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