Glittering ball in memory of Vicki

Some of Vicki's Violets: From left - Rosey Towers, Louise Furner, Gill Robinson and Stephanie Rukin, last year at the Manchester Christmas Markets, which was a yearly trip enjoyed by the group of friends and Vicki.
Some of Vicki's Violets: From left - Rosey Towers, Louise Furner, Gill Robinson and Stephanie Rukin, last year at the Manchester Christmas Markets, which was a yearly trip enjoyed by the group of friends and Vicki.
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A glittering occasion will take place in memory of a good friend, who left a lasting impression.

Stephanie Rukin has organised a glitter ball, to take place at The Carousel Hotel, Blackpool, in honour of Vicki Bellamy, who died in August 2013.

Vicki had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer in February 2012, but sadly lost her battle despite surgery and chemotherapy, after the illness spread.

The 59-year-old mum-of-two, from Marton, spent her final days in Trinity Hospice, who cared for not only her, but also her family.

Now, Stephanie – her friend of close to 20 years – along with more of Vicki’s friends, who have dubbed themselves Vicki’s Violets, is hoping to put something back, with the fund-raising event.

The sell-out, black-tie ball will take place on Saturday, with 160 people attending.

Hayley Kay, from Radio Wave, will be hosting the event and local band Touch The Pearl will perform.

There will be an auction – with prizes such as a holiday in Portugal, signed Manchester United FC football, return flights to the Isle Of Man, a round of golf and one of Vicki’s paintings, as she loved to paint – particularly flowers.

Stephanie, 43, also from Marton, said: “Vicki spent her final few days at Trinity Hospice and the care they provided for her and her family was wonderful.

“I have also found their bereavement counselling service at the Linden Centre absolutely priceless.

“When Vicki passed away, I didn’t know what to do with myself. I spoke to her every day and we had a really big connection.

“She was one of the most caring, honest and gentle ladies I have had the privilege of knowing, and she didn’t realise how much she meant to her friends and family. She was such a humble person.

“She was so dignified and a true lady.

“I met Vicki through her son, Andy and husband Martyn in the mid 90s as I used to follow Blackpool FC and so did they.

“We did the Illumathon two weeks after she died, it was her daughter Louise’s idea, and we came up with the team name Vicki’s Violets.

“I decided the time was right now for an event to give something back to Trinity and came up with the idea of the glitter ball, I hope to make it an annual event and do more fund-raising in future.”

Vicki’s daughter, Louise Furner, said she was thrilled with the idea of the ball.

The mum-of-two said: “They were fantastic at Trinity, not just for mum, but for us as well.

“They were so supportive, allowing us to stay with her as long we liked. She had a lovely room, with a beautiful garden.

“They looked after all the family.”

The women also hope sharing Vicki’s story will help to raise awareness of ovarian cancer – the fifth most common cancer among women.

Initially, Vicki’s symptoms were put down to IBS.

Louise said: “I think the message to people is to get any problems checked out. And be persistent if you feel something isn’t right.”

There is still time for any business to donate auction prizes – email Stephanie steph.parkinson@blueyonder.co.uk

Vicki’s Violets are: Gillian Robinson, Stephanie Rukin, Louise Furner, Rosemarie Towers, Zoe Scott, Anna Dyson and Nicole 
Chrisham.