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Terri's plight led to major appeal

PUBLISHED: 17:00 16 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:40 03 March 2010

THE plight of Terri Calvesbert has prompted readers to make our appeal one of the most successful the Star has ever run.

After initially aiming to raise £5,000 after the fire which threw her life into jeopardy in November 1998, the campaign spiralled beyond that within just a few weeks and had now hit more than £70,000 and it's still growing.

THE plight of Terri Calvesbert has prompted readers to make our appeal one of the most successful the Star has ever run.

After initially aiming to raise £5,000 after the fire which threw her life into jeopardy in November 1998, the campaign spiralled beyond that within just a few weeks and had now hit more than £70,000 and it's still growing.

Throughout all the tears and the smiles, Star readers have been kept in touch with the tot by regular stories.

Hundreds of fundraising events have been held by people wishing to spur on her recovery and provide for the future of the little girl they took to their hearts.

The enduring Baby Terri Appeal outgrew its name, and became the Terri Calvesbert Appeal which is still running today.

Her dad Paul, 27, of Whitton, said: "As a parent, I think any child who with an injury would touch anyone's heart – their plight hasn't got to be as dramatic as this, but I think there has been such an amazing response to this appeal because Terri's story is a unique case.

"In the early days we were taking each day at a time, but meanwhile the fund was already spiralling on."

The intervening years have brought countless fundraising highlights, such as the day Terri was reunited with her heroes, the brave firefighters who rescued her from the flames.

Then there was Roger the delivery man, who Terri called Father Christmas because of his beard and the fact he brought her presents – in mid summer - and the girls from Holbrook High School who hosted an assembly about her in 1999.

Paul added there have been many people and groups who have helped in other ways including Turners which lent the family a car for a year, and fundraising from Victoria Nurseries bought a home computer.

Members of the Suffolk branch of the Caravan Club, have helped Terri to the tune of about £1,500.

They bought a Wendy house for her to play in, cuddly toys, and a parasol to provide shade in the garden, after holding fetes and rallies.

Club members Paul and Jan Fitch of Alresford, near Colchester said everybody had contributed, and paid tribute to fellow fundraisers Chris and Leslie Fisk.

Mrs Fitch said: "Everybody knows Terri and people have been so generous. It is wonderful to see her go into the little Wendy house."

Donations are still coming in from local people, and those abroad who have heard of the story, and sponsored events are still going on.

But so far the pot of money has hardly been touched, because Terri's family want to preserve it for the time when she will strike out on her own, and need to fund an independent life.

That vision of the future, is in keeping with the spirit in which the unique fund was started.

To make a donation to the fund, send a cheque payable to The Terri Calvesbert Appeal, c/o Geraldine Thompson, editor's secretary, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

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