Appeal for Lowestoft youngster Owen Baldry looks set to top �25,000
AN appeal to help a three-year-old boy walk unaided for the first time is nearing another major milestone.
Almost �25,000 has been collected in 10 weeks for the Owen's Wish2Walk campaign, and with another busy weekend of fundraising events planned, the drive to reach �50,000 looks set to soar past the half-way mark.
The Journal first highlighted little Owen Baldry's plight on January 20 – a day before his third birthday. Since the appeal's first event on January 28, people have rallied round to support it.
After another successful weekend of fundraising, with more than �2,000 received in the past seven days, more than �23,000 has now been collected by Owen's parents, Carl and Sacha Baldry, of Dorley Dale, Carlton Colville.
They set up the appeal to enable Owen to travel to America for what could be a life-changing operation in St Louis in October. They hope the surgery will allow their son – who has spastic diplegic cerebral palsy – to realise his dream of walking, running around and playing with his friends.
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Mr and Mrs Baldry said they remained thrilled by the support shown by locals, with money coming in from across Suffolk. Among those who have made a donation is singer Boy George.
Last Friday, appeal supporters raised �400 by holding collections outside the Tesco superstore at Gunton, and last Saturday a family fun night held at the Alderman pub in Hollingsworth Road brought in just over �1,400.
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'The party was very well organised by Frances Nixon and Joan Dowson. There were children's competitions, games, prize bingo, some great hot food provided by the Alderman followed by a raffle with some great prizes,' said Mr Baldry. 'Several men had their backs, legs and armpits waxed and raised sponsorship money for Owen too!'
An anonymous �500 donation was also received this week, and the Co-Op foodstore in Carlton Colville has chosen Owen's Wish2walk as its charity for the year, which Mr and Mrs Baldry described as 'great news'.
The Baldrys' busy weekend of fundraising gets under way today with a visit to Norwich for an Easter breakfast morning at an old people's home, which is hosting a raffle, tombola and other games.
Tomorrow, a car boot sale takes place from 2pm to 4pm at Uplands Community Centre in Carlton Colville, and on Sunday there is an Easter egg hunt and bonnet competition at the same venue at 2pm, with entry at �1.50 per child.
On Monday, funds will be raised for the appeal at the Pakefield Street sale in Sunningdale Avenue and surrounding roads, with refreshments on offer at Pakefield Church Hall. Half the proceeds will also go to Lowestoft Shopmobility.
To help the Wish2Walk Appeal by organising an event or volunteering, or to find out how to make a donation, contact Mr Baldry on 07916 859358. To donate online, visit www.justgiving.com/owenswish2walk