Drinks trade charity challenge raises £30k27th May, 2014 by Lauren Eads
A gruelling challenge which saw The Benevolent’s Chris Porter visit all 91 of the UK’s league football grounds without a car in just 14-days has raised just under £30, 000 for the drinks industry charity, which supports members of the trade in financial or emotional hardship.
Chris Porter, chairman of the charity, embarked upon the challenge two weeks ago using only his pedal bike and public transport to scale the length and breadth of the UK to visit every league ground in the country travelling a total of 2,900 miles.
Completing his challenge on Sunday evening, and perhaps saving the best ground till last, Chris reached the home of his beloved Crystal Palace FC where he was met by a crowd of well wishers and a celebratory reception to mark his achievement.
The ‘Around the Grounds in 14 days’ challenge raised just under £30,000, following a match donation by Farr Vintners, while Chris’ expenses during the trip were sponsored by JF Hillebrand & TOD.
On completing his challenge, Chris Porter, chairman of The Benevolent, said: “I have been touched by the words of encouragement from friends, family and colleagues, as well as the many complete strangers who I have met, who have since become part of the life of this challenge. They re-affirmed my belief that there is a lot of good will and charitable spirit out there and that much can be achieved just by talking to each other and finding a way through life together. It seems to me to be a far better way than most of the alternatives.”
During the challenge, many gestures of support were received from UK drinks industry trade members, fellow Crystal Palace FC supporters, football grounds representatives and people he met along the route.
Chris was also joined during different legs of the route by several trade members including staff from The Wine Society, The West of England Wine & Spirit Association and CyT UK, who kindly decided to cycle part of the challenge in order to encourage Chris, while many companies organised individual fundraising initiatives to raise additional funds.
All the funds will be donated to The Benevolent and the donations will go directly towards helping vulnerable members of the UK drinks industry facing medical or financial hardship.
David Cox, chief executive of The Benevolent, said: “We are indebted to Chris for this extraordinary initiative and the support he has received has gone way beyond our expectations.
“The wonderful way in which he conceived, planned and executed this challenge has been surpassed by the way that he has kept us all amused and informed through his blog and The Benevolent is truly grateful for what he has done”.
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