Lasting legacy to well-loved pair Paul Roe and Andy Tofton
THE memories of two popular men who died prematurely will live on – thanks to the generosity of friends and a lasting legacy created in their names.
Paul Roe and Andy Tofton were both aged in their 40s when they died, and riders rallied in remembrance to raise more than £15,000 in their honour.
Their families were overwhelmed when 120 people turned out for a sponsored bike ride – and have vowed that it will now become an annual event.
The money has been split between Humberston Park Hydrotherapy Pool charity and St Andrew's Hospice, both worthy charities close to Paul and Andy's hearts.
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The two men, who were members of the Waltham Tea Gardens, both died tragically young earlier this year.
Paul, the managing director of Grimsby's John Roe Toyota dealership, died in May aged 48 after a short illness.
He resolved to support the charity after paying a visit to the facility with his wife – a wish his family are fulfilling through the Paul Roe Memorial Fund, which was established after his death.
Andy, 46, died in June following a two-year battle with lung cancer. He received care from the staff at St Andrew's Hospice and before he died, asked his wife Allison to raise money for the charity.
Shocked at losing two popular members within such a short space of time, regulars at the Waltham Tea Gardens came up with the idea of holding a charity bike ride in memory of the two men.
Despite being organised at relatively short notice, the bikeathon attracted 120 riders, and it will now become an annual event.
Paul's wife, Lorinda, said: "The bike ride was a nice way to remember Paul and Andy and to raise money for two worthy charities.
"It costs about £30,000 a year to keep the pool running and they don't get any help from the Government. It is completely reliant on fundraising.
"The support from the Waltham Tea Gardens and from the community has been absolutely fantastic. I can't thank them enough."
Andy's wife Allison said: "We thought about 20 people would take part in the bike ride so it was amazing when so many people came forward.
"The club was in such shock that it had lost two people at such a young age.
"Andy spent 12 days in the hospice and I am just in awe of the staff there. They are just so caring and supportive in every single way."
Danny Burton, David Hendry and Ian Rispin organised the ride.
Danny said: "The amount of money raised is fantastic. It is a great tribute to the two guys and to everybody associated with the Waltham Tea Gardens.
"Paul and Andy were both popular guys. This was very much a community place and were both very well respected guys within the community."
Brian Marsh, who received the cheque on behalf of the Humberston Hydrotherapy Pool charity, said: "It is a fantastic feat to have raised so much money from a one-day event. It just shows how generous the people in this area are.
"Paul visited the pool and was so touched by it that he did various fundraising events for us and his family has been absolutely splendid in carrying out his wishes after his death."
Lynne Lemon, who picked up the cheque on behalf of St Andrew's Hospice, said: "When I came tonight I thought I would be picking up a cheque for about £1,000, so when I walked into the room and saw the amount I was absolutely bowled over.
"We have to buy 15 new syringe drivers, which cost £1,000 each, so in effect this has paid for half of those."