'Harry's Day' returns to Billericay on Saturday, 25th June offering children and families a fun-filled day throughout the High Street raising vital funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital.
The day remembers the life of 2 year-old Harry Smith who tragically died in January 2009 after a short battle with leukaemia. Now in its third year, the day is driven by Harry’s parents, Karen and Jim Smith, who organise a dedicated family fun day each year in memory of Harry.
Harry was just two years old when he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia the day after Boxing Day 2008 and after six days of intensive treatment at Great Ormond Street Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, Harry sadly lost his fight for life on 2 January 2009.
[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Mum Karen"]It all happened very suddenly and was a huge shock. Looking back on it is hard but hosting Harry’s Day helps me, Jim and my son Jack to focus on something and each year it keeps Harry’s memory alive. We just want to give something back and thank the staff for everything they did for Harry and the great work they do every day.[/quote]
The couple have raised a staggering £23,500 for a vital signs monitor for Great Ormond Street PICU in the first year and, thanks to generous donations at last year’s event, they are already half way towards a second target of £33,500 for 12 dynamic pressure relieving mattresses. Karen continued: “The mattresses might not sound like much but they are for the paediatric ward where Harry died - where a bed sore when you are that prone to infection can be a matter of life or death. We’re hoping that thanks to the amazing generosity of people across the town we can hit that target this year.”
[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Sue Kilcommons"]Everyone has been so kind and everywhere we go we’ve been offered raffle prizes and fundraising across Billericay. All eight pubs are getting involved on the day which is great as this is a really worthwhile, local charity. We will be holding an auction a week later at The Railway pub on Saturday, 2 July so if anyone has any auction prizes they would like to donate to a great cause please phone me on 07764273199 or drop them into The Railway pub.[/quote]
What's Happening on the Day?
- As well as a charity auction on Saturday, 2nd July from 7pm, The Railway pub will be once again hosting its ‘Bear in the Air’ stall on Harry’s Day alongside a barbecue throughout the afternoon thanks to meat donated from local butchers, Mason’s
- The Crown plays host to a family fun and games day throughout Saturday. Live bands will entertain the crowds from 11am until 4pm before a DJ keeps punters partying until late.
- Pupils at nearby Brightside Primary School will have the opportunity to ‘Soak a Teacher’ as sponges fly at The Chequers next to a bouncy assault course.
- Guinness World Records are the order of the day at The Red Lion along with the intriguingly entitled ‘nerf gun raffle’.
- The White Hart are to host an RC Ferrari raffle, while The Coach & Horses will offer an old fashioned meat raffle thanks to meat donated by Belchers Butchers and Dave Simmonds.
- The Blue Boar will be fundraising throughout the day by selling unique Harry’s Day wristbands while, last but by no means least, The Rising Sun will host cockney pub games, a bungee run and will end it all with an evening of karaoke.
- Last year’s event raised over £10,000 on the day and this year’s looks set to be even bigger with a whole host of special events planned throughout the day.
The entertainment kicks off from 10am on Saturday 25th June and runs throughout the afternoon guaranteeing a great day out for all the family.