Sunday, February 3, 2013
A FUNDRAISING effort in honour of a much-loved outdoor enthusiast who was killed by an avalanche in Scotland has raised more than £9,000 in just a week.
Donations and tributes have flooded in to a JustGiving page set up to remember Tom Chesters, 28, who died alongside his girlfriend and two pals in the tragedy last month.
Tom’s big brother, Ben, 34, of Betjeman Close in Sidmouth, wants to raise money for the Glencoe and Lochaber mountain rescue teams who searched for the group by taking on the Grizzly Run in March.
He has seen the online account he set up last Wednesday net 399 donations totalling £9,012.
Scores of givers have left messages of support and kind words about Tom, who grew up in Ottery St Mary, was studying for a PhD in medical engineering in Hull and was said to be one of Britain’s best orienteerers.
“I could never keep up with Tom. He walked, ran, skied, cycled and climbed further than I ever will,” says one post.
“I’m glad to have known him, a totally genuine and unique guy who will be missed,” reads another.
Ben says on the site: “At just 28 years old, he [Tom] was far too young to go, but we find small crumbs of comfort in the fact that he died while taking part in one of the many outdoor activities he loved.
“I have felt moved to try to raise money for the mountain rescue teams who searched for Tom and the other victims of this horrid accident.”
Ben decided to run the gruelling 21-mile Grizzly as his brother had completed the challenge.
District council employee Ben told the Herald last week that the initial response to the JustGiving page was “staggering”.
“I know Tom would be humbled by that,” he added.
Tom’s funeral service will be held on Wednesday (February 6) at the East Devon Crematorium at 1.45pm.
His family have asked for donations to be made in his memory to the Glencoe and Lochaber mountain rescue teams.
l To back Ben’s Grizzly bid visit: http://www.justgiving.com/Ben-Chesters.