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Caring woman raises £50,000 in 10 years

PUBLISHED: 09:00 23 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:36 01 August 2010

A HALESWORTH woman has managed to raise an astonishing £50,000 in 10 years for a charity close to her heart.

On Wednesday Linda Runnacles presented a cheque to Breast Cancer Care for £4,346.

A HALESWORTH woman has managed to raise an astonishing £50,000 in 10 years for a charity close to her heart.

On Wednesday Linda Runnacles presented a cheque to Breast Cancer Care for £4,346. 97.

The money was raised at a “pink” fundraising day last autumn and took her total to £50,000 for the charity- and she still plans to keep going.

Mrs Runnacles, who works at Halesworth's Co-operative Rainbow store and filling station, has held a fundraising pink day there for the past six years.

She also raised the total through pink dances at Wenhaston Village Hall.

“I have strong feelings for Breast Cancer Care,” said Mrs Runnacles, who had breast cancer herself nearly 14 years ago. “They did a lot for me. Hopefully there's going to be a lot more fundraising. I'm definitely not going to stop now. I really enjoy it.”

Staff and management at the store and filling station dress in pink for the fundraising days. The latest featured car windscreen washing, in-store collections, a raffle, a guess the weight of the cake competition, and a competition to guess the mileage of a customer's pink car.

The pink days are always held in October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Bungay Co-op and filling station also hold a pink day, and add their takings to that collected in Halesworth.

“The customers absolutely love the day,” said Mrs Runnacles, who has also trained as a counsellor to help other breast cancer sufferers. “They love the atmosphere in the store. The whole store goes pink and everyone has such great fun.

“It's just got bigger and bigger. The first year we did it we got £500, now we've got £4,000. I think because I've lived in this area all my life they've always been so supportive of whatever fundraising I've done. If it hadn't have been for the support I wouldn't have been able to do it.”

This year's effort netted £2,346.97, and was increased by a £2,000 donation from Anglia Co-operative's Community Fund.

Last year Mrs Runnacles received the Halesworth Lions' citizen of the year award for her fundraising efforts for Breast Cancer Care.

“It was a very proud night,” she said. “They came and asked if I would accept it and I just burst into tears. I'm not usually that emotional. I was really really chuffed.”

She said that Mark Punchard, handyman at the store, is one of her biggest supporters. Last year he helped raise money by playing drums on the forecourt of the filling station.

She added that she would like to thank her manager Stuart Rix for letting her put on the pink days.

Mrs Runnacles presented the cheque to Breast Cancer Care volunteer Maureen Forbes outside the Rainbow store.

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