More than £15,000 raised for charities in memory of Hatfield Heath man David Sweeney
Over £15,000 has been raised for charity at a fun day in honour of a popular Hatfield Heath man, who died after collasping while out walking his dog two weeks ago.
Around 400 people attended the event on Sunday (July 26) to celebrate the life of 29-year-old David Sweeney, of Cox Ley, who was found in a field off Mill Lane in Hatfield Heath, after suffering a cardiac arrest on July 16.
The fundraiser featured a charity football match, a half marathon, a raffle, a charity auction and karoake which went on until midnight.
Kelly Bridges, 28, who organised the day along with some of Mr Sweeney’s friends, said: “It was an absolutely amazing day. I was a bit worried in the morning when I saw the weather, but despite the rain, everybody turned up and got involved.
“I can’t believe just how generous people were. We managed to raise £2000 through draw tickets in a few hours on the day and had 80 donated prizes ranging from golf and spa days to meals in restaurants.
“Sweeney loved his karaoke so we finished the day off with a few drinks and songs for him.”
The money raised from the day will be split between a memorial bench and three charities – The British Heart Foundation, the Essex and Hertfordshire Air Ambulance Trust and the East Anglian Air Ambulance.
Miss Bridges said she was considering making Sweeney day an annual fundraising event for local charities in the area, given the success of the day.
“I think we should do it to remember Sweeney. If we could raise a third of what we raised this year, it would be a success.
“I know his family really appreciated what we did and his mum, dad and sister made speeches during the day, which were very emotional.”
Over 400 people are expected to attend Mr Sweeney’s funeral, which will be held at Pardon Wood Crematorium in Harlow this Friday (July 31) at 1.45pm. The service will be followed by a gathering at the White Horse pub in Hatfield Heath.
Anyone wishing to donate can visit www.gofundme.com/zq8cdc.