SCORES of fancy dress runners pounded along Bournemouth promenade yesterday to raise funds for the Steve Barnard Foundation.
The event, Stevie B’s 25th Fancy Dress Fun Run and Walk, commemorates popular local sportsman Steve Barnard who died at the age of 18 in 2005.
Steve’s dad, Tony, said: “We’re quite lucky because so many people who went to school with Stevie or played football with him help and support the foundation.
“Stevie was born on Valentine’s Day and this is the nearest Sunday to his birthday. It’s also our other son’s birthday on the 20th, and he’s 21 this year, so all my family have come down from the Midlands.
“Everyone makes a really big effort and we’re thankful for all the support.”
The foundation was set up by Steve’s family and friends after the star footballer and athlete died in a car crash.
Local DJ Christian James, a school friend of Stevie, warmed up the crowd before the Bournemouth beach event.
Runner Martin Stewart, who was at the event to support the foundation, told the Daily Echo: “The sun is shining, the atmosphere here is great. I think everyone is happy to be supporting such a great cause, especially those who knew the lad personally.”
Over the past six years the foundation has raised tens of thousands of pounds to support good causes, largely on the sporting field.
The charity has taken sporting equipment and support to hard-hit communities across Africa and Eastern Europe.
But it also works closer to home. Among those to benefit in Bournemouth has been nine-year-old Charlotte Oxford, who was presented with a special tricycle last year.
Charlotte, of St Mark’s at Talbot Village, has cerebral palsy and quadriplegia and the new trike was donated to help her get around.