A dedicated fundraiser has raised a whopping quarter of a million pounds for charity after the curtain came down on her musical festival’s 30-year history.
Judy Kitching MBE, founder of the popular CornShed festivals near Hutton Rudby, Stokesley, said she was overwhelmed by the amount raised for the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) and this week visited the charity’s Durham Tees Valley Airport base to hand over the cheque with the final amount.
The CornShed event was set up in memory of her husband Jim, who died aged 38 after an accident at their farm, and went on to become a hugely successful local festival with volunteers coming from all over the UK to help stage the annual fundraiser.
It also led to Judy being awarded an MBE for her services to charity.
More than £33,000 was raised from this year’s two festivals – their biggest ever sum.
Paying tribute, Grahame Pickering MBE, chief executive of GNAAS, said: “Judy’s events have raised a truly phenomenal amount for charity over the years. Her contributions to GNAAS have saved lives, it’s as simple as that.
“Without her support, there are people out there today who would not have been given a chance.
“Raising this kind of money requires immense amounts of graft and we are grateful to Judy and her dedicated team for their support.”
The GNAAS crew flew into the final CornShed festival to say a personal thanks to the committed fundraiser.
Judy said: “I knew I wanted the last CornShed to go with an absolute bang and it certainly has done.
“Thanks to all the crew, the committee, thank you to the sponsors, people who have given money – there are so many people I could thank.
“I have two wonderful daughters who help me and a wonderful son-in-law. I couldn’t do any of this without them.”