Memorial match at Vale of Lune rugby pitch raises £3,800 for Arabella's fight to walk
Players past and present laced up for a rugby match in memory of a Morecambe man and to raise money to help a five-year-old girl with a rare condition to walk.
The fundraiser, held at Vale of Lune rugby pitch, was organised by Lancaster estate agent Matthew Kitchen and his best friend, Joshua Skivington, to raise money for West Lothian girl Arabella, who suffers from a rare condition called Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita (AMC) and to honour the memory of his father, Neal Kitchen.
Dozens of people attended the family fun day and match, raising an amazing £3,800. Arabella's condition affects joints, which can become permanently fixed in a bent or straightened position and the little girl is confined to a wheelchair. Her major medical procedure is set to cost £125,000.
Commenting on the fundraiser, Matthew, who works at Lancastrian Estates and is an ex-rugby player, said: "It was a fantastic day in memory of my dad, Our team named after my dad - Neals Seals - played the Vale of Lune 3rd team. We lost 27 – 17, however it was a brilliant physical and tough game. Funnily enough and how ironic is this I scored the first try! My dad would have been so proud."
He added: "We had a brilliant crowd and including the players at the end there was around 250 people. We then had a fantastic raffle and sports memorabilia auction after the game. We continue to have donations coming into us even after the day. The fundraising total is now in excess of £3,800, which is amazing.
"William Green (my cousin and Arabella's father) and Arabella attended the match. It was great to firstly see my family, but it was also fantastic for everyone to see Arabella and see who and why they are donating to her cause.
"I would like to give a special thanks to all the businesses that helped with raffle prizes, Bay travel, Royal Hotel and Bar, Wobbly Cobbler, OJM Plumbing and Let it glow beauty.
"I would also like to give special thanks to those who helped with the fundraising on the day, Chloe and Karen Osmotherley, for helping to sell and organising the raffle, Joshua Skivington for helping me organise the event, Liam Hall for paying and donating a bouncy castle for the day, all the staff at the Vale of Lune for working their socks off! And, a special thanks to all those who came and supported the event and donated."
Matthew went on to say that the Neil Kitchen Memorial Game will again be taking place next year - hopefully bigger and better!
Anyone who could not attend, but would like to donate towards Arabella's cause is asked to CLICK HERE