CHESTERFIELD’S most glamorous fundraising event The Ashgate Hospice Fancy Drag Race is just round the corner and the hospice is appealing for as many fellas as possible to turn on the style and join the fun.
And as preparations are underway for the event on Sunday, May 20, which sees men take to the streets in women’s clothes, the hospice, on Ashgate Road, Ashgate, has been inundated with the emotional stories that have driven people to take part.
Shane Madden, of Leopard Photography, Chesterfield, was so moved by the courage of a customer who was struck down by a brain tumour that he did not hesitate to get on board with the Drag Race.
He said: “A beautiful young girl came through the door with her boyfriend and asked for some nice pictures. Five months later I received a phone call to do a family shoot.
“In walked the family and the girl’s mother said that her daughter had been to the studio before.
“Her mum explained who she was and it turned out to be the girl I had photographed five months earlier, but she had developed a brain tumour.
“It hit me like a punch rather than a slap in the face. I was so saddened but did the photo shoot in my normal jovial way.
“A few weeks later, I received a phone call from the mother to ask if I could put a slideshow together to play at the girl’s funeral. I was devastated to hear the news but agreed without hesitation.
“I was given a CD full of pictures and was also asked to include some pictures I’d taken. Having a young daughter of my own the pictures really brought it home to me what this young girl had gone through.
“She had suffered all her life with various cancers but the one thing that stood out was that she had continued to help others through charity events.
“With tears in my eyes, I vowed to do more to help the hospice and other charity events. I’ve done several since including the Drag Race last year dressed as Scary Spice from Bo Selecta and had a great time.
“These events are great fun and don’t involve lots of effort. You can walk round if you wish and you get to wear stockings and suspenders with an excuse. Don’t wait for your slap in the face - start helping out there now.”
The five mile fancy dress Drag Race, which costs £10 to enter, takes place around Chesterfield on Sunday, May 20, and runners aged 11 upwards are welcome to take part but anyone younger than 16 will need to be accompanied by an adult.
Those interested can register on line at www.ashgatehospice.org or they can call the hospice fundraising team on (01246) 567250 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for details and sponsor forms.