Kind-hearted Cestrians have been busy arranging hundreds of fundraising events to help the plight of poorly schoolgirl Erin Cross as she prepares to undergo lifesaving treatment in the USA.
The Chester and surrounding community have truly taken the five-year-old to their hearts ever since her parents Sarah and Antony from Upton issued a heartfelt plea for help to raise the £140,000 she needs to travel to Seattle for Car T Cell Therapy which will then enable her to get a lifesaving bone marrow transplant.
The money was raised within a matter of days and since then, local schools and members of the community have been working hard to get the target even higher through scores of different fundraising events, and the amount now stands at £151,956.
Deva Boxing Club were inspired to raise a staggering amount of more than £3,000 through a 24 hour boxing marathon which was sponsored by City Office Furniture with food donated by Domino’s Pizza, and a special bag pack at Morrisons in Upton raised an impressive £936.50 for the appeal.
Businesses including Boots in Chester got involved too, by running an Erin Cross Weekend which involved them setting up collection buckets instore.
Elsewhere, Hair and Beauty Works in Bache baked cakes for a week and sold them all, while staff donated their tips - raising £357 in the process, and the radiography department at the Countess of Chester Hospital held a cake sale that raised £186.40.
Tesco Sealand Road have donated all food and drinks to the events that have taken place to raise money for Erin, and youngster Jess Weaver took part in the 14 mile Wirral bikeathon for Erin, asking that any sponsors pay directly onto Erin's fundraising page.
Schools have also been doing their bit - an incredible £10,000 has been donated to the appeal thanks to efforts from local schools alone and so many have been taking part that there are too many to list in this article.
However, they include Dee Point Primary School in Blacon who held a sponsored teachers ice bath challenge, JH Godwin school who organised events like Sponge the Teacher and JHG’s Got Talent, and Dee Banks Primary School who held a Soak the Teacher challenge.
Bishops' Blue Coat High School, where Erin’s dad Antony is a teacher, plan to hold a Zumbathon next weekend and Ashton Hayes Primary School pupils have raised £262.62 for by holding an Art for Erin event where they produced a piece of art on a small canvas with the theme Love, Hope and Faith.
Erin’s mum Sarah said: “We still can’t believe the amount of support we’ve had. One day we are told we’ve got to raise £100,000 for treatment, half a week later the money has been raised and we’d been on This Morning. Totally mind blowing - we still can’t believe it!
“The support from everyone from the Chester area has been amazing and it’s really heartwarming to see how a community can work together to help save the life of our little girl. Thank you everyone for all your support.”
Cheshire West and Chester Council leader Samantha Dixon added: “I’m sure it is a huge boost to Erin and her family to know how much support there is for her in our local community. I know that everywhere teachers, children and parents are digging deep for her. They’ve thought of all sorts of ways to help this special little girl. It’s very moving to see the commitment everyone’s making to Erin.”
And Kim Mylchreest, Sarah's sister, said: "I would like to thank all the people that are working tirelessly behind the scenes with the Erin Cross appeal and the fundraising.
"These include people who don't want any personal recognition for what they're doing, whether they are bucket shaking or giving professional advice. They are invaluable."
Erin’s doctors are currently waiting for her lymphocytes to rise before she will be well enough to travel to America for the treatment.
Here is a full list of the schools who have made donations or organised fundraising events. If yours is not mentioned, please email email@example.com and we will add you to the list.
Ashton Hayes Primary School art sale
Helsby High School - pupils paid to watch the England game
Upton High School held a cake sale
Highfield Primary School - pupils brought in £1 and wrote Erin’s name on the floor
Cherry Grove Primary School - pupils paid to wear pink or green
JH Godwin School - pupils paid to watch football match, Sponge the Teacher competition and organised JHG's Got Talent.
Barnton Primary School held a fundraising festival
Dee Point Primary - sponsored teacher's ice bath challenge
Blacon High School - pupils paid to watch football
Hawarden Village Primary School held a cake sale
Dorin Park School - held a non uniform day and a dance off.
Acresfield Primary School - raffle donations and Year 6 fundraising events
Hornsmill Primary held a sports day collection
Huntington Primary held a sports day collection
St Theresa’s Primary held a pocket money collection
Boughton Heath School sold ice pops and pizza at sports day
Parklands Primary School held a series of fundraising events
Mill View Primary held a collection and and sponsored hair cut
Waverton Primary School held a non uniform day
Dee Banks School held various fundraising events including Soak The Teacher
Bishops Blue Coat High School held a non uniform day, cake sale, are organising a zumbathon and a 12 hour relay
Upton Heath School held various fundraising events
Arches Primary School fundraised at their school fair and held a cake sale
Woodlands Primary School held various fundraising events
Kelsall Primary held a sports day.