Festival for Lee raises £11,000

THE fifth year of an annual festival, remembering the life of a 21-year-old Sudbury musician, raised a record total, writes Neil Bracegirdle.

LeeStock, a music event held in memory of Lee Dunford, who died from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2006, has raised £11,000 for the Willow Foundation.

The figure takes the total amount raised for the foundation – a charity which works to improve the lives of seriously ill young adults – to £37,000.

Lee’s mum, Rosie, of Hawkins Road, said she could not believe the success LeeStock had enjoyed over recent years.

“There are so many people who are involved and who come along and support Lee,” she said.

“It is all done in his memory and I think it is fabulous. I am sure Lee would probably think it is all a big fuss about nothing, but he would be chuffed to bits with all the money raised and would not believe it is all done for him.”

This year’s festival took place at the start of June and included performances by American rockers Wheatus and dance band D:Ream.

An estimated 800 people attended the event, which was held at AFC Sudbury’s MEL Group stadium for the first time, having previously taken place at the White Horse pub, in North Street.

“It was a different venue and we were worried that may affect things but I’m really pleased with how it went,” said Mrs Dunford, who is married to Rob.

Along with money raised from the festival, £3,500 was donated by Lee’s old school friends Ash Watts and John Hamblin, who completed a marathon around Sudbury.

A Calendar Girls inspired calendar featuring Lee’s friends and family, including brother Lloyd, 29, sold well, while there was also a charity football match and a pub crawl.

“More and more people are helping and organising events and they all work tirelessly to make them work,” said Mrs Dunford.

“They always ask for mine and Rob’s input and we hope the festival will continue getting bigger and better.”

Pete Keogh, one of the organisers, said he was proud to be part of the festival.

“It is a true testament to Lee’s memory that people are so willing to come together like this,” he said.