Lincolnshire widow holds fundraising events for British Heart Foundation
A MOTHER who lost her husband to a heart attack has praised the support she has gained from her children's school and local businesses.
Mother-of-two Rachel Stow, 43, organised the first of many fundraising events at Old Leake Primary and Nursery School to raise money and awareness of the British Heart Foundation.
Mrs Stow's husband Darren, 44, died following a heart attack in September 2011.
She decided to hold a series of events in his memory along with her friend Kerry Howley, 33.
The first event, a Rocking Up In Red Day, was hailed a success raising more than £153.
Mrs Stow said: "The children and teachers at the school all wore something red and donated £1 per family.
"It was fantastic to see all the children rocking up in red, they all looked fabulous.
"The school have been so supportive and we would like to thank them and the parents for making this event happen and raising the money to help such a worthwhile charity."
The event was attended by the Lincolnshire BHF fundraising volunteer manager Helena Mair and the BHF mascot Mr Hearty. Mrs Stow, who now volunteers for the BHF, added: "This has been so worthwhile to organise.
"It has given myself and my children something positive to focus on since the sudden death of my husband and the children's father. Old Leake has really got behind us, this has been shown by the money raised at the school.
"We just can't express our thanks enough and although this was started by us, the amount of support we have had from friends and people wishing to help us in various ways has been truly overwhelming."
The total to date raised by the school, through donations and local businesses contributing is £510, with donations still coming in.
Mrs Howley, said: ''We are both overjoyed and I know how proud Darren would be of Rachel for being positive and raising money for the British Heart Foundation."
Mrs Stow and Mrs Howley have another forthcoming event which is being supported by the Bricklayers Arms in Old Leake.
As February is National Heart Month, the Bricklayers Arms will be holding a charity raffle and live music from six piece band Evolution on Friday, March 1.
The main prize has been donated to them by Trevor Osbourne from the band Evolution which is an original 'one of a kind' electric guitar.
Raffle tickets are now on sale at the Bricklayers Arms at £1 per ticket, these can be purchased before or on the night.
All proceeds raised will be donated to the British Heart Foundation in memory of Darren Stow.
If any companies would like to donate a raffle prize, please contact the Bricklayers Arms on 01205 870657 or Rachel Stow on 01205 871366.