Fylde businesses have rallied round to back the biggest charity swimarathon yet organised by Lytham St Annes Lions.
Medals for competitors and fabric badges are among the new innovations this year, respectively supplied by two of the companies backing the event, GR Hardwick optometrists and Kindred Painting Services, while the introduction of online applications has helped take the number of teams taking part to a record 66.
That’s more than 500 sponsored swimmers supporting the Edward Dee Forever Fund for Meningitis Now, in memory of the Fylde youngster who died from meningitis in December 2016.
Gold, silver and bronze medals will be presented to the leading performers in Sunday’s event at St Annes YMCA Pool, which it is hoped will raise £15,000 or more.
That would take the Edward fund over the £80,000 mark and add to the near £250,000 raised for a wide variety of good causes by the Lions in the swimarathon’s 32 years.
Edward’s mum Elizabeth is delighted at the response – and at the backing by local businesses, led by main sponsor Beaverbrooks The Jeweller.
She said: “I’m so grateful that so many local businesses have offered their support to cover the many costs involved in putting on an event of this size.
“They’re not just supporting the charity in a financial way, they’re also showing the community that businesses regard local causes as important to them.”
The swimarathon will run from 8am to 7pm, with various starters through the day, including Mrs Dee and the Fylde mayor John Singleton at the outset, along with Meningitis Now founder Steve Dayman and Beaverbrooks’ chairman Mark Addlestone.
Others backing the event are Booths Supermarkets, Crofts Newsagents, Fox’s Biscuits, Granville Auto Centre, Kensington Developments, Lytham Timber, Lytham Windows, Morrisons Supermarkets, Red Fort Restaurant, Stringers Department Store, Tangerine Confectionery, Windmill Community Benefit Society.
A concert in memory of Edward at Lytham St Annes Technology and Performing Arts College Thursday more than £420 for the Edward fund.