Dancing the night away in loving memory of dad John

March 29 2018
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LOVERS of rockabilly and northern soul came together at a charity do in Hanham to raise more than £1,000 for St Peter's Hospice.

The event, at Hanham Community Centre on March 17, was organised by rockabilly Pete Bryant who was inspired to raise money after his dad, John, was diagnosed with liver cancer.

John, 75, from Kingswood, had been planning to attend and donate £50 to the cause, but sadly died on the Tuesday before the event.

Pete, 49, put on a brave face and was determined his 120 guests should have the time of their lives and raise as much money as possible for St Peter's.

Spinning the tunes were DJs Malc the Talc, Pop Up Pete, Jim Cook, Simon Flintstone and James Manu who gave their time free of charge.

The dance floor quickly filled and guest danced the night away to classic rockabilly, northern soul, ska and reggae tunes.

Proceeds from the £5 tickets went to St Peter's with funds further boosted by a raffle and blind auction.

Prizes included tickets to watch Bristol Rovers and Bristol City, full car service, meal vouchers, vinyl records, CDs, hampers, hairdresser and barber vouchers, toiletries and chocolates.

There was also a collection bucket and a buffet which Pete's friends laid on free of charge, with guests encouraged to make a donation if they ate.

Kingswood-born Pete, who raised a grand total of £1,181, was supported by wife Hayley, 35, and sister Michele Nelson, from Longwell Green, who made up hampers for raffle prizes.

"It was an emotional night for me," Pete said.

"My dad had kept saying to me he wanted to give me £50 towards the fundraising but I said 'No, because I want you to give me it on the night because I want you to be there'.

"He died on the Tuesday before so the night without him just seemed surreal. I took £50 out of my dad's wallet and on the night I put the money in the bucket and told dad that's what I was doing. I just felt I wanted to make a point of doing that and I was hoping he was looking down and could see what I'd done."

The event was Pete's second fundraiser following his dad's diagnosis in December 2016.

The previous one, held at the community centre last March, raised £750, also for St Peter's Hospice.

Pete, who now lives in Patchway, said: "To raise £1,181 is unbelievable. When I gave the money to St Peter's they were surprised by how much was raised just from one night.

"Everyone really embraced the fundraising and were happy to put their hands in their pockets and donate. Everyone loved the music and had a brilliant time.

"My dad wasn't looked after by St Peter's but I picked that charity because it's close to home and they do an amazing job of looking after local people who have cancer.

"My dad told me just before he died that he was proud of what I was doing. He said 'You're doing a really good job there, my son'."