A BALL held in memory of a popular Fordingbridge girl who died in a zipwire accident raised an amazing £3,236 – with more money still coming in.
Andrea Watton’s family have now raised £15,000 from a series of fundraisers since the 21-year-old crashed into a rock in August 2010 while on a trip with other sports students from Bangor University.
Her mother Debbie’s latest tribute to her go-getting daughter was a grand ball held at the Avonway, in aid of the Have a Heart campaign for seriously ill children.
She and husband Pete, son Dave, 26, and daughter Rachel, 21, welcomed 101 guests, who danced, had a three-course meal and had fun with the photobooth and casino.
The money from Have a Heart goes to three charities - the Make a Wish Foundation, Rays of Sunshine and Starlight Appeal.
Mrs Watton, 51, was helped by several friends to hold the ball, who cooked and decorated and made it a night to remember.
She said: “I would like to say a huge big thank you to all our family and friends.
“I would not be able to do this it without their continued support. Also local businesses and friends for their sponsorship, auction and raffle donations all their help has meant so much to me and my family.”
She added: “The whole hall was decorated with hearts. My friend Carol Hull helped with the bunting, and Carol Pidgley and her family made the delicious food for the night – it was lovely.
“We were entertained by the DJ Simon Western from Punch Entertainment sponsored by my son’s business Dave Watton Electrical, and there was a fun photo booth sponsored by husband’s company Pete Watton & Co Ltd.
“We all danced the night away and had lots of fun and laughter – it was an amazing evening.”
And she said: “My inspiration behind all my fundraising is the memory of my daughter Andrea.
“I truly believe Andrea would be doing this herself, she was so full of life, lived her life to the full and was a very caring daughter.
“Each and every day goes by my heart aches with the loss of her. She was taken from us whilst she was so young.
“Fundraising in her memory and raising lots of money for such great charities helps me and my family cope in some way and will continue to live her life in our hearts forever.”
Mrs Watton’s next challenge will be trekking the Grand Canyon for nine days in October, camping in the base and exploring.
She said: “There will be no toilets or electricity, only water from the stream. I’m looking forward to it but it’s quite scary.”