THE ever-popular Midnight Walk is nearly upon us again and scores of fearless fund-raisers are getting ready to put their best foot forward to raise cash our Scan For Life appeal.
And joining them as ever will be tireless charity campaigner Rose Barker who is always one of the first names on the list to volunteer for the moonlit Lakeside stroll since it kicked off four years ago.
She spoke to Free Press features editor DARREN BURKE about why backing our campaign is vital.
IN this day and age, there aren’t many 84-year-olds who’d be prepared to be set foot outside their front doors on a dark, cold and windy autumnal night.
But Rose Barker can’t wait for October to roll around for the chance to pull on her walking boots, head out into darkness and raise cash for our campaign to raise £600,000 to buy a new state of the art cancer detection scanner for Doncaster Royal Infirmary.
For as soon as we reveal details of the charity spectacular each year, Rose heads straight down to our Sunny Bar offices to be sure of her place in the event, which this year takes place on October 28.
She said: “I thoroughly enjoy it and look forward to it coming round each year. I am more awake at night than in the day time so its ideal for me!”
Since the walk kicked off in 2008, hundreds of people have taken part, donning their winter warmers for what can sometimes be a chilly one and a half mile stroll around the perimeter of the Lakeside waters.
Added Rose: “The weather doesn’t bother me. Its lovely to get out there and do something for a worthwhile cause. As long as you wrap up nice and warm, you will be fine.”
We’re now within a whisker of reaching our £600,000 target as we enter the final phase of our joint project with Doncaster Cancer Detection Trust - and the Midnight Walk is always one of the most popular fund-raisers on the charity’s calendar.
It forms part of a hectic schedule of fund-raising for Barnby Dun-based Rose who will be taking part in the walk for the third time next week.
“I didn’t make it the first year,” she said. “I didn’t know how to get there at that time of night, especially on my own. But now my son takes me so I don’t miss out. I really do look forward to it.”
The rest of the year is taken up collecting cash for a variety of charities including Macmillan Cancer, the RNLI and a string of other good causes.
“If it brings money in and its put to good use, then I am happy to get involved,” she said.
And if you are thinking about getting involved too but worried about not being in shape, don’t fear - because anyone of any age can take part - and what’s more you can add to the fun by donning fancy dress costume to make a real entrance!
Added Rose: “I’m not bothered about the fancy dress but I love to see everyone else dressed up for the occasion. Its wonderful to see all the young people getting involved.”
Last year, Doncaster born and bred Rose, raised £300 for our campaign coffers and she admits she loves combining the fact she can contribute to charity and get out and about in the fresh air too.
“I go for a walk every day,” she said. Since getting rid of my car a few years ago, I’ve walked everywhere. I love the freedom and I don’t miss having the car at all. People don’t believe it when I tell them I am 84 - they don’t believe someone my age can be so fit and active!”
And there’s still time to join Rose by signing up for this year’s Midnight Walk.
For with your help, that scanner, so vital in the early diagnosis of cancer, could soon be installed at Doncaster Royal Infirmary helping to save lives across the whole borough.
The walk attracts individuals and groups from around the area - families, friends, work colleagues who have a great night out while doing their bit for a good cause.
And you can cut a dash as you stride out around the lake by sporting one of the official t-shirts available for those taking part.
For there’s one item that every self-respecting walker should have and that’s one of our official black and white Midnight Walk t-shirts.
The t-shirts come in four sizes - small, medium, large and extra large - and are priced at £4.95 each and are available now from our Sunny Bar reception.
Alternatively, you can snap up three for just £13 - and every penny will go towards our Scan For Life campaign.
As well as the fundraising walk, there will also be entertainment, music and as ever, the fancy dress competition.
Graeme Huston, South Yorkshire Newspapers’ editor-in-chief, said: “The Midnight Walk is always a fantastic family fun event and brings together people of all ages to help a really great cause. Make sure you sign up soon. We look forward to seeing you on the night.”
Walkers will gather for the event from 10pm on October 28, People of all ages can register for the walk now by calling into the Free Press offices in Sunny Bar and filling in one of our forms.
It costs £5 for one person, £10 for a family and £10 for a corporate group.
* Scan for Life donations can be paid directly into the Co-operative Bank in St Sepulchre Gate, account number 50326679, or at the DCDT shop in East Laith Gate. People can also call 01302 349177 for more information or visit the website at www.dcdt.co.uk. Email your fundraising events to editorial@