By Kevin Unitt 03/07 Updated: 05/07 07:41
MORE than £2,500 was raised for military good causes at the fourth annual Stretcher Race held in honour of a Southam soldier killed in Afghanistan.
Paratrooper Jeff Doherty – known as both JJ and Doc – died in a firefight in Helmand Province in June 2008, just two days after his 20th birthday.
His parents Jeff and Joyce have since set up the JJ Memorial Fund, a non-profit charity primarily raising money to help injured members of The Parachute Regiment and the families of those killed in service.
And each year since his death members of the regiment, including those who served alongside him in the 2nd Battalion, have come to Southam to take part in the fund-raising stretcher race.
This year's event, on Saturday (June 30), also featured live music, food and drink, family activities including mind reader Paul Brooks and an air display over Southam by The Red Devils, who parachuted down to the town's recreation ground.
JJ's father Jeff told the paper £2,637 had been raised and said: “On behalf of myself, my family and all at JJ’s Memorial Fund, we would like to thank everybody involved in making this day such a great success, those that attended, those that donated and as always, our heartfelt thanks and utmost respect to The Parachute Regiment for their invaluable support.
“The lengths they go to to remember my son and to support the charity that was set up in his memory is amazing and we truly appreciate it.”
The memorial fund, initially set up with aim of remembering JJ locally through memorials and in other ways, is now focussing entirely on helping The Parachute Regiment servicemen, veterans, and the wounded.
Its achievements already include purchasing a mini bus to transport the injured to activities such as horse rising, providing i-pads to the injured at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, and sending 1,400 goodie boxes to Afghanistan for serving paratroopers.
In the future it aims to fund and train an amputee polo team and to take more injured servicemen riding for the disabled in Warwickshire.
Visit www.jjsmemorialfund.org for more details.
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