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Times helps heroes at the races

PUBLISHED: 16:39 27 January 2010 | UPDATED: 10:22 12 August 2010

THE Kentish Times showed its support for our armed forces with a £100 race sponsorship at Crayford Greyhound Track in aid of the Help for Heroes charity. We joined hundreds of generous punters at last Friday night s race evening who donated whatever cash

THE Kentish Times showed its support for our armed forces with a £100 race sponsorship at Crayford Greyhound Track in aid of the Help for Heroes charity.

We joined hundreds of generous punters at last Friday night's race evening who donated whatever cash they could spare to the cause - which has provided practical support for service personnel wounded in operations since 9/11.

Outsider Thanks Mein, trained by Patsy Cusack, was first over the line in The Kentish Times Help The Heroes Stakes in race 11 of an exciting night, which saw around £1,500 raised overall.

Christine Gibbs, 48, from Upper Belvedere, whose son-in-law is a military police officer currently stationed in Afghanistan, was visiting the track for the first time in 15 years.

She said: "Coming here tonight was totally motivated by the charity. It's a great opportunity to back a worthy cause and show our friends and family that we're thinking about them.

"Living with my daughter is a nightmare as she's permanently worried. They have no mobile and very little telephone contact, so stay in touch mostly through emails and MSN Messenger at weekends.

"It makes me feel better when I come to these evenings and see people giving to the cause."

Fellow punter Jeremy Martin, 45, from Welling, added: "We're down here as it's a friend's birthday and we thought: what better way to support the troops?

"It's a great charity to get behind. My grandfather fought in the war and the armed forces are currently all over the world in tough circumstances doing a really good job.

"It's been a great night."

The track's marketing officers Jo Diprose and Lindsey Stafford raised funds by selling Help for Heroes merchandise on the night, individual greyhounds were sponsored and fellow staff member Len Stephens organised a raffle which proved popular among those dining in the track's Heathview Restaurant.

Marketing and PR manager Diana Illingworth revealed that staff at the track

had come up with the

idea of raising money

for the troops and praised the Times for its generosity.

She said: "We are part of Ladbrokes and the company has its own community charitable trust. We're encouraged to do as much as we can and they tell us to pick whatever charities we wish to support and try and raise as much money as possible. It's a way of us getting into the community.

"The staff here normally decide what we raise money for. We thought Help for Heroes was something that is prominent in the news and right at the forefront of people's minds.

"It was a great success and I would like to thank the Kentish Times for sponsoring a race and contributing to the night."

For more details about Help for Heroes fundraising projects, visit www.helpforheroes.org.uk.

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