Olympic honour for charity hero Gary
Last updated at 12:07, Thursday, 09 August 2012
A CLEATOR Moor man, who has helped raise around £100,000 for charity, is to be presented with a prestigious volunteering award at an Olympic final on Sunday.
Gary McKee has cycled through Brazil, climbed Kilimanjaro and trekked across New Zealand – all to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support, earning him the charity’s National Volunteer of the Year Award.
Gary becomes the first Cumbrian person to receive this honour and, accompanied by his wife Susan, he will attend the Olympic handball final in London on Sunday as guests of honour to formally receive the award.
“It’s absolutely overwhelming,” says Gary, who was one of the runners selected to carry the Olympic torch through Whitehaven during the relay in June.
“My dad, Victor, died 10 years ago, and I wanted to do something in his memory; to raise money and raise the profile of a charity that reaches out to so many people.
“One-third of people is affected by cancer, and it’s something that touches everyone, so Macmillan was the perfect choice for the fundraising. They do such amazing work.”
In the last 10 years, Gary has helped raise in the region of £100,000, a staggering amount achieved through exhausting challenges at home and abroad.
As well as the challenges in Brazil, Kilimanjaro and New Zealand, in 2011, he ran from Land’s End to John O’Groats – the equivalent of 33 marathons in 27 days – and, in what he describes as his greatest achievement, recruited a team of over 100 people to join him on the Cumbrian Run in Carlisle.
“That one was amazing because it wasn’t just me; there were so many of us running together, all bringing in sponsorship, for the same great cause.”
Gary was nominated for the award by Sue McDonald, Macmillan’s fundraising manager for Cumbria.
She said: “Gary is the most selfless, inspirational individual the Cumbria team has ever encountered. He has the ability to motivate and inspire everyone he comes into contact with. He converts people into supporters.”
First published at 11:10, Thursday, 09 August 2012
Published by http://www.whitehavennews.co.uk
Have your say
I met Gary when doing Wainwrights Walk in Cumbria. I am so proud to call him my Mate.
Good on you marra
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