Although the couple just failed in their bid to win a £25,000 wedding of their dreams, they were still smiling at the sum they pulled together, as the results of the radio competition offering the prize were announced.
The community literally pulled the sum together with Belton’s top teen Jack Marshall, Doncaster war hero Ben Parkinson, and organiser Alan, by joining in strong man and woman events in Scunthorpe.
“We had an absolutely fantastic day and although we came third in the wedding competition, we are really happy to have brought the community together and raised this money for Cash for Kids,” said Alan.
He and Heather were not far behind the winners of the wedding package offered by Viking FM, who raised £7,100. “We had plans to marry on June 18 next year anyway. The competition was for fun in a good cause and we have plenty to look forward to in the future,” said Alan, 39, who works as fitness suite manager at North Lindsey College.
The award-winning para-triathlete hopes to walk for the first time using false legs for his wedding, after he underwent a double amputation in the 1990s.
He, along with Ben and 16-year old Jack, who suffers Moebius Syndrome, were Olympic flame carriers together, and have remained friends since that momentous day.
“It was great to see Ben looking so well on Saturday, he really inspires me,” said Alan. “I have a new challenge to go for with Jack, as he wants to tackle a sponsored 10k road race in his wheelchair. I’m going to be his personal trainer and get him fit for that over the next months, and it’s my fortieth birthday in June, so I shall plan something for that to raise cash for Jack’s charities too.”
Alan and Heather were well supported for their event on Saturday at North Lindsey College, that included a truck pull, a vintage bus pull, a car dead-lift and a fitness challenge to anyone with the nerve to have a go.
With only eight days to raise their total, Alan also put himself through the agony of a chest and back waxing for sponsorship, and Heather ran a six-mile road race.
The day was rounded off with a community fun night at the Red Lion in Crowle.
All proceeds have gone to Cash for Kids that administers grants to youngsters across North Lincolnshire that are disabled, have life limiting illnesses, have suffered abuse or neglect, or need support for some other reason in the form of funding.
Jack, whose own condition means he is unable to walk unassisted, has difficulty with hearing and is unable to smile, recently launched his own campaign for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research. He asks people to upload a photo to social media with the#smiles4jack and then nominate friends to give Jack one ‘L’ of a smile with a donation.