Friends raise £8,000 in memory of Jake

The money was raised in memory of Jake, pictured  with his mum and dad, Joel and Joanne
The money was raised in memory of Jake, pictured with his mum and dad, Joel and Joanne

Around £8,000 has been raised in memory of a Calder Valley youngster who died over Christmas with a rare life-limiting condition.

Mytholmroyd school boy Jake Booth, six, passed away last year after fighting Battens Disease - a cruel condition that left him blind, wheelchair-bound, suffering regular seizures and susceptible to infections, for over 12 months.

During his brave battle, the community rallied around Jake and held various fundraising events to try and improve his quality of life.

One such event - which sadly Jake never lived to see - was a Valentine’s Day evening held at Mytholmroyd Community Centre.

As a tribute to Jake and with the support of his parents Joel and Jo, organiser Paul Gwilliam decided to go ahead with the fundraiser and donated the £2,400 raised to Martin House Children’s Hospice and the Forget Me Not Trust - two charities that helped the Booth family with care and respite.

Joel said the family had been “completely overwhelmed” that Paul, a complete stranger, had taken the time and effort to organise the evening and that it had raised so much.

“We are so very grateful to him – and everyone who went along to support the event – for helping us to keep Jake’s legacy alive,” said Joel, who himself raised £2,000 towards the overall total by completing the Great North Run.

“We intend to continue fundraising for the hospices in Jake’s memory. They do such a wonderful job.”

“A Swingin’ Valentine’s Affair” saw 200 people pack into the community centre, with music from The Little Big Band - an 18-piece swing orchestra from Leeds - dancing from Swing Dance Leeds, and a charity auction hosted by local radio DJ Robert Whitely.

Dancers also had the opportunity to record their memories courtesy of Karen Garvin Photography, who provided the services of their instant photo studio for the evening’s events. Paul said: “Thanks to everyone for coming to support the event. There are lot of people who worked very hard and contributed to the evening.”