Casino night to launch Kilimanjaro charity appeal

Two friends from Torquay are to take on the biggest challenge of their lives and climb Mount Kilimanjaro for charities close to their heart.

Gavin Bowstead, aged 30, and George Holman, 29, will officially launch their fundraising campaign on behalf of the Children’s Society and the Multiple Sclerosis Society with a charity dinner at Genting Casino Torquay.

The sell-out black tie event for 100 people on Saturday 28 November is hoped to raise about £1500.

The dinner is the first in a series of fundraisers by factory worker Gavin and George, a painter and decorator, who plan to take on the Africa’s highest mountain in March 2017 and are aiming for a £10,000 charity target.

Father of two Gavin said: “We’re both quite fit and wanted to challenge ourselves and this will certainly be a challenge as so far we’ve not been higher than Dartmoor! We’ll be training in the months ahead and will climb Snowdonia to help prepare.

“Climbing Kilimanjaro is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we thought we would use it to raise money for two causes we care about.”

Gavin is a volunteer with the Children’s Society where he is an advocate for young people in care. He was in foster care himself when younger and wanted to give something back.

George, who has a one-year-old son, is a supporter of the MS Society as his mother Sue Holman has had the condition for 25 years and has required a wheelchair for the last 15 years. His father Mark is her carer.

Kevin Gale, general manager of the Genting Casino in Abbey Road, said: “When we heard about the Gavin and George’s amazing charity challenge we wanted to help. We have provided our venue and other support and hopefully the dinner will raise a significant sum, highlight the appeal and encourage more sponsorship.”

George said: “We’re very grateful for the support of Kevin and the team at Genting and we’d also like to thank companies who have donated prizes for our raffle on the evening.”

The two men will join an organised trip with guides to ascend Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. It rises to more than 19,300 sq ft above sea level and is the highest free standing mountain in the world. 

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