Vicky fund: Magical milestone passed

DELIGHTED trustees of the memorial fund for murdered schoolgirl Vicky Hall were today celebrating as the appeal passed the magical milestone of £100,000.

By Richard Cornwell

DELIGHTED trustees of the memorial fund for murdered schoolgirl Vicky Hall were today celebrating as the appeal passed the magical milestone of £100,000.

It's a huge step closer for the teenager's family's dreams of having a proper memorial to their beloved daughter in the village where she lived and grew up.

The target of £100,000 was what the trustees set when the appeal was launched – and has been met thanks to a wonderful donation from Felixstowe port.

The port, which supports many causes in the community, has given a grant of £20,000 towards the appeal.

It has been behind the appeal right from the start and was one of the supporters of the reward put up to catch Vicky's killer.

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Many port workers live in her home village of Trimley St Mary and her death – still unsolved – three years ago touched the lives of many of the families who work in and around the 700-acre container terminal.

A port spokesman said: "We are pleased to be able to contribute to this appeal.

"The sports pavilion bearing Vicky's name will be a fitting tribute to her memory and will provide a useful amenity for the whole local community.

"We hope that a quick decision will be forthcoming from the Football Foundation to enable the project to get underway as soon as possible."

Bob Race, a member of the appeal trustees and chairman of Trimley Red Devils, which will manage the pavilion when it is built, said the port's donation was hugely generous and everyone involved was delighted.

"It is a fantastic donation and we all send our thanks to the port for their marvellous support. We set ourselves a target of raising £100,000 because we wanted to show the Football Foundation the determination of the community to have this pavilion as a tribute to Vicky," he said.

"We have received tremendous support from all sections of the community – businesses, district and parish councils, groups and organisations, and many individuals who have raised money from events.

"It's been a brilliant effort by so many people and everyone has worked really hard and we can't thank them enough."

The project is now in the hands of the Football Foundation which is examining an application by the trust for a grant of £140,000.

The pavilion on Stennetts Memorial Playing Field will provide a home for the Red Devils, which run football teams for players aged seven to 17, but it will also be used by cricketers and for small community events.

Vicky's parents Graham and Lorinda have been delighted with the fundraising and the tremendous support the memorial fund has received from the public.

It has been a great comfort to them since their 17-year-old daughter vanished as she walked home with best friend Gemma Algar from a Felixstowe nightclub more than three years ago.

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