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Article from section published on February 11, 2014

CLASSIC CAR FANS GIVE BOOST TO NAVY CHILDREN’S CHARITY

A group of classic and sports car enthusiasts have given a £6,800 boost to the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Children’s Fund.

The Sporting Bears car club handed over the money next to HMS Victory in Portsmouth and added a touch of glamour to the ceremony by bringing 12 of their most prized vehicles.

The cash was raised by a series of Sporting Bears fundraising events, most masterminded by Warrant Officer Class 2 Baz Firth – the Bears’ south west regional organiser.

He said: “I have seen the support the charity offers to families in my workplace and I’m proud to think that in some small way we can help them continue providing such a valuable service.”

Most of the money was raised at this year’s NEC Motor Show in Birmingham, where the Bears offered Dream Rides – a ten-mile ride in a dream car in exchange for a donation.

Forty Sporting Bears members attended the handover ceremony and were treated to a tour of HMS Victory, hosted by Second Sea Lord, Vice Admiral David Steel.

Among the cars lined up next to the ship were an Aston Martin DB9, Bentley GT Speed, Ferrari California, Corvette CO6 and a Jaguar XJ220.

WO2 Firth also used his fundraising skills outside the Sporting Bears to provide the RNRMCF with an extra £4,500. As a member of the Rotary Wing Committee at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton where he is based, he collected £2,000 from a charity ball and raised another £2,500 by raffling a Sandrail lightweight car donated by Dreamshack which gives engineering training to homeless ex-servicemen and teenagers.

Receiving the cheque on behalf of the RNRMCF – which supports children of serving and former Naval Service personnel – were Clare Scherer and Monique Bateman.

Clare said: “The Royal Navy & Royal Marines Children’s Fund are hugely grateful to all at the Sporting Bears for their support of the charity and the wonderful sum they have donated to us. They have been amazing both over this past year and in previous years in their support of the work we do helping children from the Royal Navy & Royal Marines. Particular thanks go to WO Firth – who has the energy of 10 men and is tireless in his enthusiasm and support.”

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