A GROUP of young firefighters tackled a rowing challenge to boost the coffers of the Laila Milly Foundation.
Fifteen teenagers from Knottingley High School and Featherstone Technology College – who are about to complete a two-year BTEC level two qualification in the fire and rescue service in the community – rowed 22km on a rowing machine at Castleford fire station to raise £400 for the charity.
Laila’s parents Steven and Maya McCormack, of Hayfield Way, Ackworth, hope to transform a building on Kirkby Road in Hemsworth into a day nursery for children with serious and complex illnesses.
It was hoped that Laila would attend the nursery, but she died in March after a 12-month battle with Aicardi Syndrome.
David Todd, crew commander, said: “The group of young firefighters are nearing the end of their course and we thought it would be a good idea to do some fundraising for a good cause.
“I work with Steven at Castleford fire station and we decided we wanted to support his charity in any way we could.
“We challenged the pupils to row 20km by taking it in turns in six-minute stints, but in the end they exceeded our expectations and rowed 22km.
“They each took home sponsor forms and managed to raise around £400, which will be a massive help to Steven and Maya.
“They did a fantastic job and we’re really proud of them.”
Other fundraising events have taken place across the Five Towns to raise cash for the charity.
Pontefract NEW College teacher James Wilkinson collected £600 in sponsorship after running the London Marathon in April and cash is still being counted after a group of 13 men – including Steven – climbed Ben Nevis in full firefighting uniform.
Later this month Steven and friends Shaun Clark, James Wilkinson, Stephen Beckett, Stephen Neil and Chris Ward will tackle the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge for the campaign.
If you are holding an event for the Laila Milly Foundation contact the Express by emailing email@example.com, calling 01977 781933 or by writing to 1 Front Street, Pontefract, WF8 1BL.