Giant polar bear up for grabs in Marlow competition

Bucks Free Press: Manager Jonathon Chapel with the giant bear, which doesn't yet have a name. Manager Jonathon Chapel with the giant bear, which doesn't yet have a name.

INSTEAD of a window display of suavely dressed men, Christmas shoppers at a Marlow clothes shop have been greeted by a huge polar bear.

Independent family run men’s clothing store Hewetts of Marlow will raffle off the five-foot fluffy bear toy on Christmas Eve to raise money for The Thomas Ball Children’s Cancer Fund.

Tickets for the arctic giant are being sold for £5, with the winner will be announced at Midday on Christmas Eve.

After receiving a lot of positive customer attention over a large fluffy reindeer the shop was selling, manager Jonathon Chapel was inspired to put another wintry creature up for sale for good causes.

He chose the charity due to family connections and because Hewetts had supported its work in the past, and since the raffle began three weeks ago the team have raised £800.

Jonathon said: "Thomas Ball is a great charity and it felt like the natural option.

"It’s already caused quite a stir with customers worrying that if they win they’ll have nowhere to put it!"

The Thomas Ball Cancer Fund was started in 1999 by Thomas Ball after he was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma stage four.

He lost his battle against the disease in June 2003 after undergoing rigorous treatment.

Today, the charity raises funds to relieve sickness and distress among children suffering from cancer and provides help to their families.

The money raised helps to provide medical equipment, research for the rare strain of cancer, special gifts and holidays.

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