THE Mayor of Chesham will be swapping his chain of office for a pink T-shirt and bunny ears on Saturday when he joins a charity walk to remember personally two people close to him who have died in the last few weeks.
Mohammad Fayyaz will stride out in pink with hundreds of other walkers in support of the Berkhamsted-based Hospice of St Francis - one of his two charities of the year - in its flagship fundraising event of the year, the Midnight Walk.
The 61-year-old father-of-five said: "I’m doing it to remember and celebrate the lives of my cousin’s daughter-in-law, Asia, who passed away just two weeks ago after a recent diagnosis of cancer at the age of 37, and a very good friend of mine from Chesham, Hamid Mukhtar Mirza, who died very suddenly of a heart attack last week.
"It makes you remember that you should make the most of every day. The Hospice’s Midnight Walk is billed as a night to remember and a night of remembrance and it just seemed like the perfect opportunity to do something special in memory of them both.
"I’ll be wearing my pink T-shirt and flashing bunny ears with pride and walking the five-mile route. I want to raise as much as I can to support the tremendous work the Hospice does in our community, making such a difference to patients and families when they need its care.
"Any donation, however small, will make a difference. My JustGiving page is online at www.justgiving.com/Mohammad-Fayyaz or if you haven’t got a computer, please sign my sponsorship form when you see me - and cheer me on if you see me on the night."
Hospice Community Fundraiser Jamie Smith, pictured with Cllr Fayyaz, said: "We are hugely grateful to Mohammad for his support. He’ll be among many kindred spirits walking to remember loved ones and making the most of a chance to do something amazing in their memory.
"It’s all about celebrating the amazing care the Hospice provides to patients and families within the local community and raising vital funds to ensure that we can provide care today for those who might need it tomorrow."
Last year the 650 men, women and children who took part raising £85,000 for the Hospice, which cares for people living with life-shortening illnesses across Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire.
Online registration for the event - which has the option of a five mile route or an 11 mile walk - has now closed but anyone wanting to take part can still sign up on the night from 8.45pm at Hemel Hempstead School in Heath Lane.
For more information go to www.stfrancis.org.uk/midnightwalk.