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Massive pumpkins on show for charity

PUBLISHED: 23:18 22 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:43 03 March 2010

DOZENS of gardening enthusiasts gathered at Otley College at the weekend to catch a glimpse of some of the county's largest pumpkins.

The Great Pumpkin Challenge was set up by the Ipswich Allotment Holders Association (IAHA) to raise money for St Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich and involved more than 50 growers from across the region.

DOZENS of gardening enthusiasts gathered at Otley College at the weekend to catch a glimpse of some of the county's largest pumpkins.

The Great Pumpkin Challenge was set up by the Ipswich Allotment Holders Association (IAHA) to raise money for St Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich and involved more than 50 growers from across the region.

The atmosphere was tense at weigh-in time but there could only be one winner and Derek Chenery from Maidenhall allotments came away with first prize for the heaviest after for his pumpkin weighed in at 237lbs.

BBC Radio Suffolk presenter Lesley Dolphin along with breakfast show host Mark Murphy appeared at Saturday's event to help boost much-needed funds for the Foxhall Road hospice.

St Elizabeth Hospice needs to raise at least £1 million per year to continue its work in the community.

Bryan Taylor, chairman of the Ipswich Allotment Holders Association, said the growers had raised more than £1,300 in sponsorship money for the pumpkin challenge.

"It was an excellent day and was well-attended. This is the first year of the event and now we know it works we are gearing ourselves already to launch next year's competition.

"We are pleased to be supporting such a deserving charity and delighted that Otley College could accommodate us."

Jean Potter, assistant fundraising manager at St Elizabeth Hospice, added: "We are grateful to the IAHA for organising this event, since all funds raised will help us to care for our patients and their families."

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