A family spreading sunshine

Claire Pinder (second left), with her family and the final total they raised with their charity ball for Rays Of Sunshine
Claire Pinder (second left), with her family and the final total they raised with their charity ball for Rays Of Sunshine
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The Pinder family is holding a big night out for special good cause.

When Scott and Claire Pinder’s daughter Jess was just six, she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, in February 2013.

The family, of Pressall, was helped by the Rays Of Sunshine charity, which made some of Jess’s wishes come true, including meeting boy band Union J, who came to prominence on the X Factor.

Jess is now doing well – having undergone intensive chemotherapy and endured countless trips to hospital.

The family felt they wanted to put something back to show their gratitude for the charity’s work, and last year organised a fund-raising ball at the Village Hotel, Heron’s Reach, Blackpool.

Some 380 guests attended and the Pinders raised a grand total of £16,147. It was so successful, they started planning the next one that week.

This year’s charity ball will take place again at The Village Hotel, on September 30.

All tables are already sold, but the family is still looking for donations for raffle and auction prizes.

Mr Pinder said: “It was a sell-out and had a wonderful atmosphere.

“We did what we set out to do – to raise money, promote the charity, and give friends and family a night out to remember.”

When keen dancer Jessica was first diagnosed, she had to spend five weeks in hospital. She had been diagnosed after she had become thin and complained of feeling unwell.

Her parents initially thought she was exhausted after taking part in a four-night show at Thornton Little Theatre.

But after she got up in the middle of the night complaining of leg pain and the next day was still unwell, mum Claire felt she had to do something and took her to the Urgent Care Centre.

Rays Of Sunshine organised a special trip to London for the whole family – Jessica, mum Claire, dad Scott and siblings Kaitlyn, Lewis and Daisy, and a surprise visit from Union J.

* To donate prizes, email cpinder763@btinternet.com