Family and friends of Taylor High touched by festive fund-raising

IT was the toughest Christmas they had ever faced.

But the family of a Lowestoft teenager killed in a road crash said this week that they had been 'touched' by the generosity of local people after another �2,500 was raised for a fund set up in his memory.

Taylor High, 19, suffered fatal injuries in the collision on the A17 in west Norfolk on March 26 and ever since then his parents, Elaine and Gary, have been raising money for the Taylor High Memorial Fund, to support community projects, worthy causes and deserving local people in the Lowestoft area.

On Boxing Day, family and friends were united in remembering Taylor at their latest event as they raised �2,580.50 at the Ole Frank pub in Oulton – taking the running total to almost �14,000 in just nine months.

The sum came from a number of sources: Taylor's cousin Ritchi High had his beard shaved, and money was raised from a raffle with donated prizes. Live acoustic music was provided by Taylor's brother Curtis.

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Two weeks ago, in a letter published in The Journal, Mrs High urged those who had lost loved ones to remember them at Christmas and 'turn your sadness to reflection' at what is a difficult time for bereaved families.

She said the Boxing Day event had given people a chance to mark Taylor's memory in a positive way.

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'To raise �2,580.50 was an amazing effort, and special thanks go to Lucy Kane, Johnny Lee, Mary Stephens and Tonita Gee for their donations and to all who supported the raffle,' she said.

'Big praise to all who sponsored Ritchi for his shave – �2,200 is a fantastic sum. Ritchi started growing his beard in November and in two months he had raised that amount, which was incredible.

'The shave was done by the owner of Code Hair in Oulton Broad, Laura Bull.'

As if to highlight Taylor's popularity, the Ole Frank pub, which is run by his uncle Glen, was 'packed to capacity' for the Boxing Day fundraiser. Old friends and former football team-mates of Taylor were among those at the event.

'It was such a nice event – both bars were packed to capacity and it was nice that everybody turned out,' Mrs High said. 'We're now approaching �14,000, which has been raised in nine months and that's an absolutely amazing amount. I'm so touched that people have wanted to rally round with amazing contributions and support.

She said the fund-raising would continue in 2012. She added: 'Thank you all for your continuing support – a very popular little man was my dear son, and I am so glad everyone wants to do their 'bit' for him.'

Meanwhile, the memorial fund's latest beneficiaries received an early Christmas present last week, with cash donations given to provide local support for disadvantaged children and young people.

'We gave some more money just before Christmas to help disadvantaged youngsters in Lowestoft, with money being distributed to a mothers' and toddlers' unit and to a local children's home,' Mrs High said.

'We are still looking out for other beneficiaries we can donate to.'

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