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The Great "Fatsby"

A group of friends honoured an ardent fundraiser who loved to entertain when they raised £16,000 for a hospice by hosting a spectacular weekend of 1920s glamour and glitz.
Jane Frame Bill Lintott Jane Lintott and Chris Holmes (2) (cropped)
For the past 26 years the fundraising group CHUMS, which was set up by close friends Ray Graves, Geoff Pike, Bill Lintott and Ian Alexander, has raised huge sums for Saint Francis Hospice including a staggering £74,848 since 1997. 

In November CHUMS organised The Great Fatsby, which was themed around the famous F. Scott Fitzgerald novel and so called because Ray from Romford was known as "Fat Ray."
And it was particularly poignant as it was also the first event to be held since sadly Ray died unexpectedly in 2014. 

On Wednesday (March 2nd) Bill and his wife Jane also from Romford were at the hospice to present the £16,000 cheque, which included £1,000 that was gift matched by Barclays. 

"We all had teary moments but we are delighted that we pulled it off," said Bill.
"We wanted it to be a party. It's about making sure our guests have fun because if they have fun they will come back again."

CHUMS pulled out all the stops, with the help of family and friends, to make the weekend a success. 

The guests took over Dunston Hall Hotel in Norwich, which was decked out in speakeasy style and there was even a jail set up for those who were caught defying prohibition and drinking alcohol.

And guests got into the swing by learning dance moves from the era such as the Charleston and the Turkey Trot.

Ray's wife Pat, who was there with their four children Conor, Georgina, Hannah and Emily, said, "The weekend went so well and it was hard for everyone at times and bitter sweet though it was, we know Ray would have been very proud."

CHUMS was formed after Ray's mother-in-law Betty Grant, who was cared for by the hospice, asked him to organise an event in recognition of the hospice help the family had received.

That was back in 1990 and since then CHUMS has continued its fundraising efforts.
Some of the themed events that have taken place include The Sound of Music, Harry Potter, James Bond (Chumfinger), the Oscars, a Rat Pack night and even a masked ball at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

The friends are determined to continue what they started and their actions have inspired their children to set up a Young CHUMS group, which has already organised an event for the hospice.

Jane Frame, Director of Fundraising and Marketing at the hospice, said, "We are incredibly grateful to CHUMS for this latest donation and for their support over the past 26 years.
"This year's event was especially difficult for Ray's family and friends but that did not prevent them from making it an outstanding success. Their remarkable fundraising achievements continue in memory of Betty and Ray. Their legacy will always be gratefully received and will never be forgotten." 

Jane Frame Bill Lintott Jane Lintott and Chris Holmes (web)
From L to R: Jane Frame, Bill Lintott, Jane Lintott and Chris Holmes, Community Partnerships Manager at Saint Francis Hospice.
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