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Gallery/Video: Fundraisers take over the streets of Ipswich for the Midnight Walk in aid of St Elizabeth Hospice

PUBLISHED: 06:35 12 May 2014 | UPDATED: 07:04 12 May 2014

Midnight Walk 2014. Entrants to the walk warm up before the start at Portman Road

Midnight Walk 2014. Entrants to the walk warm up before the start at Portman Road

Hundreds of fundraisers took over the streets of Ipswich on Saturday night for the annual Midnight Walk in aid of St Elizabeth Hospice – raising an estimated £150,000 for the charity.

Cowboys, cowgirls and popular cartoon characters were among the 1,600 strong crowd taking on the challenge, which started from Ipswich Town’s Portman Road home.

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This year there was the opportunity for people to tackle a 13mile route in addition to the five and eight mile courses, while those walking in memory of loved ones could also hang a tribute card on the Tree of Remembrance outside the hospice in Foxhall Road.

Hospice officials have said the walk, which was supported by the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star, has been a massive success.

Event organiser, Leanne Carhart, said: “It was a fantastic night with a great atmosphere.

“It was lovely to see 1,600 men and women united for St Elizabeth Hospice, the biggest turn out for a few years.

“We estimate they have raised around £150,000 in sponsorship to help us to provide free local Hospice care in East Suffolk and South Norfolk. On behalf of all our patients, their families and carers who will benefit from this support, I would like to say a huge thank you to all the participants and everyone who sponsored them.”

Among those taking part in the walk were inflatable horse costume-wearing sisters Mandy Berry and Jane Woolnough, of Ipswich, who took on the eight mile route in memory of their sister, Gail Mariott.

Jane said: “We have done the eight mile route for the last few years and we love it, it’s so much fun. Our niece, Gail’s daughter, gave birth this morning too, which makes the day even more special.”

Amy Graham, of Needham Market, was joined by her team of 21 Ryan’s Angels taking on the 13-mile route, dressed in pink glittery cowboy hats and fairy wings.

They did the walk in memory of Amy’s husband, Ryan Graham.

Amy said: “I’ve been buzzing all day. We’ve raised over £3,500 in sponsorship in memory of Ryan which is fantastic and goes towards his Tribute Fund.”

On the night, people taking part in the walk were also treated to a range of entertainment including a magician, an Elvis impersonator and line dancing.

At the end, those who took part were rewarded with a medal and a hot drink, which had been provided by Starbucks.

Leanne Carhart also paid tribute to the 150 volunteers and marshals who helped with the event, including hospice nurses and Sainsbury’s staff who handed out refreshments

You can still support the event and donate £5 by texting MNWK14 to 70079.

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