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Every penny will support patients - why this business is raising money for the Elmer project

PUBLISHED: 14:41 21 September 2018 | UPDATED: 19:26 23 September 2018

Larking Gowen pose with Elmer the patchwork elphant  Picture: JO BEATTIE

Larking Gowen pose with Elmer the patchwork elphant Picture: JO BEATTIE

Archant

An East Anglian firm of accountants have raised thousands of pounds for a hospice ahead of Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk next year.

Picture: KERRY-ANNE LYMEPicture: KERRY-ANNE LYME

The art trail parade marks the 30th anniversary of both St Elizabeth Hospice and Elmer the Patchwork Elephant, and to mark the occasion there will be 50 individually painted statues of the beloved children’s character on display across Ipswich.

As an official Early Bird Herd sponsor of the trail, Larking Gowen, along with several other companies, pledged to raise £3,500 for the hospice before January, and the accountants have already surpassed their target.

From hosting a crazy golf tournament at Ufford Park Hotel to entering eight sponsored runners into the Great East Run Half Marathon in Ipswich, the company have gone to all possible lengths to raise money.

Larking Gowen director Jo Fox took part in the Great East Run and explained why they have all made such an effort: “We’ve been hugely encouraged by the donations we’ve received, the training was a challenge, of course, but it was also a lot of fun.

Picture: KERRY-ANNE LYMEPicture: KERRY-ANNE LYME

“Above all, we know every penny given to support us will be spent on patients and their families.”

The St Elizabeth Hospice parade will mirror their 2016 Pigs Gone Wild project which saw 40 statues of painted pigs showcased in the town.

The hospice hopes the elephant trail will be even more popular.

Joanne Beattie, assistant campaign manager for the Elmer project, said: “Elephants have long memories and the hospice is where we try to make some positive memories.

Elmer and her newly painted friends Elmer Armstrong and Elmer 'imagination can take you anywhere Picture: JO BEATTIEElmer and her newly painted friends Elmer Armstrong and Elmer 'imagination can take you anywhere Picture: JO BEATTIE

“It’s also one for the children, Elmer is a popular children’s character and something they can engage with.”

The art trail will extend right through the town and along the Waterfront and will from mid-June to September 2019.

Artists from across the UK have been invited to design and paint an Elmer for the trail.

Ms Beattie said: “It’s a great opportunity, some of the artists we had doing the Pigs Gone Wild trail launched their career from it.”

Each Elmer has been sponsored by a local company or organisations, and as well as the 50 large figures there will another 100 mini versions decorated by children.

Once the trail is over, the Elmers will be sold at auction.

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