Wetherby cancer charity fundraiser

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More than £16,000 has been raised at a charity ball in memory of a Wetherby resident who died of breast cancer.

Around 400 guests attended a black tie fundraising ball in memory of Maria Cooper, 51, of Beech Spinney, who lost her four-year battle with breast cancer in 2011.

The gala event, which Maria organised and hosted during her illness in 2010, was held at the Pavilions of Harrogate and all the money raised will go towards St Gemma’s Hospice and Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

Maria, who was diagnosed with the disease in 2007, underwent a mastectomy, radiotherapy and chemotherapy but died last year in St Gemma’s Hospice.

Sue Barlow, Maria’s close friend of 24 years, and a member of the organising committee, said:

“Despite being so unwell two years ago, Maria held her own charity ball in 2010 and I am absolutely delighted that after ten months of our own planning and hard work we were able to host another successful and very special fundraising event in her honour.”

Guests at the fundraising ball last month were treated to a three-course meal with live bands, as well as a prize-giving auction.

Sue added: “I cannot thank enough all the local businesses and family and friends, who supported Maria’s ball by kindly donating gifts and prizes.”

Maria, who featured in the Wetherby News from 2010, raised around £10,000 for charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer. Charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer is the UK’s leading charity which aims to fight the disease through research, campaigning and education and is dedicated to improving and saving lives through finding the causes of breast cancer and encouraging early detection. St Gemma’s Hospice provides specialist medical and nursing care for people with life-threatening illnesses, predominately cancer, along with support for their families.

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