AN event held in honour of a Ringwood teenager who died in September has raised £1,000 for charity.
Ringwood Raceway held the Sam Cheetham 400 Memorial Race for the friends of the 15-year-old, who had idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension, meaning his heart struggled to pump blood through his lungs. Sam died on September 7.
Dave Wright, race director at Ringwood Raceway, said Sam joined the club two years ago.
He said: “He had infectious enthusiasm and after a few months, he became the man to beat.
Mr Wright added: “All of the Junior Club members are friends so they were very upset to hear that Sam had died, and I honestly didn’t realise how much of a part of the family he had become. The overwhelming reaction was that we should hold a race for Sam, and it just went from there.
“We had people from across the south come along and are glad to have raised a decent amount of money with all the race fees included.
“All of the Junior Club members are determined not to forget him.”
Sam’s mother Karen Cheetham said: “We still support Great Ormond Street Hospital and specifically the Sam Cheetham Bright Achiever Fund, which was set up in his name.”
Sam had been a member of the club since November 2011 when he first started racing slot cars at their Saturday Junior Club. “His competitive nature meant he was soon on a mission to win the championship, which runs from January.
In 2012, his first full year of racing, he came second.
This year, he was winning the championship at the time when he died and the team had every confidence he would have gone on to win the championship.
“Sam was so involved in the club and all it represented, that we chose to hold a celebration event there on the day of his funeral, called Sam’s Victory Lap,” said Mrs Cheetham.