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Cleveland Police were rocked on 18 October 2011 when popular PC Mike Gillespie sadly lost his battle with a spine tumour.
Devastated colleagues packed Yarm’s St Mary Magdalene Church for the funeral of a man whose life revolved around the force and his family - wife Sarah and young sons Cole, now four, and Finn, one.
Now a year on, Mike has been remembered in a charity night at The Dickens Inn on Sunday 30 September, with £2,600 raised for Macmillan Cancer Support.
The night, called A Star in the Night Sky, will be a permanent reminder of PC Mike Gillespie.
His wife Sarah, 28, who is also a police officer, said it’s been a tough year, but looking after Cole and Finn, plus support from family, friends and the likes of Macmillan, has helped her through.
She revealed their sons will always have a twinkling reminder of their father: 'We named a star after Mike and Cole sometimes points to the sky, saying 'daddy’s a star in the sky'. It’s been a horrendous year at times, but I’ve had things to keep me going. And it was good to organise the charity night. Everyone enjoyed it, which is what he’d have wanted.'
Hosted by former Premier League referee Jeff Winter, it was held on the weekend Mike would have celebrated his 30th birthday. More than 200 people attended the charity night, which included music from the band Aurora, a buffet and a luxury raffle.
Sarah, of Thornaby, thanked everyone who supported it. She said: 'I’d always planned to do a surprise 30th birthday party for him, so I decided to go ahead with a charity night instead. About half the room was police officers, he was so well thought of. There were a few tears at the end of the night but largely, it was a real fun night.'
Liz Airey, Macmillan Fundraising Manager, would like to thank Sarah and everyone involved for raising such a fantastic amount which will go a long way to help people affected by cancer in the local area.
If you would like to organise a fundraising night in memory of a loved one please contact the local fundraising team on 0300 1000 200.
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© Macmillan Cancer Support 2013
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