Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Motorbike parade in memory of Ben Gautrey is a poignant success

A POIGNANT parade which paid tribute to a Southport motorbike racer who died last year has helped to raise hundreds of pounds for a charity set up in his memory.

The Benjamin Gautrey Foundation, set up by friends and family of the 18-year-old rider who was killed at a race at Cadwell Park in August last year, said that a fundraising stall and tribute parade at last weekend's Ormskirk MotorFest had been seen by thousands of visitors, with more than £255 being raised to help the charity's aims of promoting grassroots sports.

Ben's mother Lorraine told Life On Cars: "The event was excellent and went far better for the foundation than any of us could have expected, with lots of people coming over to have a look and find out more about the charity. It isn't just about motorbike racing, but about all the sports Ben took such a keen interest in.

"The parade in particular went really well, with the bikes looking spectacular as they went around the streets of Ormskirk. Everything was done in a very poignant way and it was very emotional for everyone involved, but I'm delighted that it went so well and that so many people took an interest in what we're doing."

The charity not only had a stall set up in Coronation Park, where thousands of visitors to the event went to see the classic cars and bikes on display, but also had a special parade around the town centre, which was led by a replica of the 600cc Gearlink Kawasaki which Ben rode during his final race.

An additional tribute to Ben was also paid at Cadwell Park, the Lincolnshire circuit where he was killed in a race a year ago, with supporters planting a tree in his memory.

Charity supporter Alisdair Croft, who took also took part in last year's MotorFest, said: ”The foundation's supporters are absolutely delighted with how it all went, and it's clear that a lot of interest was generated and that a lot of merchandise to promote the charity's work was sold on the day.

"The parade too was a big success, and we're adament that the Benjamin Gautrey Foundation will be back at the Ormskirk MotorFest next year, and hopefully with some big names riding some of the bikes in the parade."

If you'd like to find out more about the Benjamin Gautrey Foundation, visit the charity's website at www.thebenjamingautreyfoundation.org.uk.

Picture courtesy of West Lancashire Borough Council

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