More than 200 people gathered to celebrate Crazy Hats reaching the £2 million milestone to improve breast cancer care in the county.
The charity, which raises money to buy new equipment and improve facilities at both Kettering and Northampton general hospitals, recently smashed the £2 million mark.
To thank all those who have supported the Wellingborough-based charity since it was set up 13 years ago, charity founder Glennis Hooper and her fundraising team held a celebration lunch at the County Cricket Ground in Northampton on Sunday.
Among the guests were Wellingborough mayor Jim Bass, Corby mayor Anthony Dady, MP for Wellingborough and Rushden Peter Bone and the new MP for Corby and East Northamptonshire Tom Pursglove.
They were joined by the charity’s president Dr Roy Mathew and chief executive of Kettering General Hospital David Sissling.
Dr Mathew spoke of his pride at being involved with the charity and said: “This £2 million is a reflection of the generosity of the people of Northamptonshire, but I feel this is a bigger reflection of the hard work of Glennis and her team.
“This charity has got a lot more to offer, but we need support and help to realise our dreams.”
Mr Sissling said the money given to Kettering hospital had made a difference to many lives and added: “My role here today is to thank Glennis and everyone involved in Crazy Hats, their work is hugely appreciated.
“I look forward to working with Crazy Hats in the future.”
Charity president Heather Smith was among those to receive a certificate in recognition of her work.
She said: “Glennis’ mum would have been so proud of her daughter and we are very proud to be part of her team.”
And she added: “Earlier this week Glennis was invited to the royal garden party at Buckingham Palace and we are particularly proud that she was nominated to receive that honour.
“She does this and much more in her untiring efforts to promote Crazy Hats.”
She said that while Glennis makes times to thank volunteers and supporters for their efforts, it was her drive and vision which had helped them reach the £2 million milestone.
The final word of the afternoon went to Miss Hooper, who set up the charity after being diagnosed with breast cancer.
She said: “£2 million is a huge amount of money, we are thrilled that we have been able to give that money to the hospitals and we want to continue to do that in the future.
“But over the years we have realised that as much as we love raising money and Marilyn loves counting the money, we have found that it’s not money that’s important, it’s people.
“People are the foundation of this charity.
“We like to think that Crazy Hats is very much a people’s charity and we are there to support people going through breast cancer.”
Miss Hooper then spoke of the charity’s future plans and said: “My dream is to create a breast cancer haven for Northamptonshire.
“I feel that Northamptonshire is now ready to have its own breast cancer haven where people can receive support away from the hospital.
“There’s a need for patients to off-load when their treatment has finished or when they are going through treatment.” Miss Hooper said she wants to offer five days of support for patients at the haven and she will be working with the local MPs and councils to find ways of making this happen.
A special mention was also given to county-based firm Avon, which has supported Crazy Hats for about eight years, and a new booklet entitled From £5 To £2 Million was launched at the event.
For more details about Crazy Hats go to www.crazyhatsbreastcancerappeal.co.uk.